DISCLAIMER: SPOILERS AHEAD
Directed by Jonathan Blakeson, “I Care a Lot” is a Netflix movie intended to shed light on the vast world of “cherry” picking.
Marla Grayson, played by Rosamund Pike, is a state-appointed guardian for the elderly who can no longer take care of themselves. With the help of her romantic partner, Fran, played by Eiza González, she searches for the perfect “cherry,” a term Marla coins for a potential ward who could help make her a lot of money.
The main theme of the film is centered around Marla’s false idea that to get anywhere in life you have to be willing to take advantage of others. Every time she has a successful hearing, she proclaims that it’s because she “cares a lot.”
Ironically, her “business” is an example of the negative side of the American Dream: when people abuse their powers for personal gain to get ahead of others.
Marla’s life flips upside down one day after becoming the guardian for Jennifer Peterson, played by Dianne Wiest.
Jennifer’s character struggles throughout the film while trying to free herself from her brutal nursing home. She is a creative and feisty woman who often matches Marla in wits and petty remarks.
As the movie progresses, it brings to mind how many Americans have to go through situations similar to Jennifer’s. The movie does a great job at bringing attention to an issue that may not receive as much media coverage it deserves.
Today’s coverage is usually focused on politics, sports or entertainment and often leaves other issues, like the mistreatment of the elderly or the abuse of state policies, in the dark. The movie’s goal is to bring attention to these issues, where some states could use reform in their guardianship policies.
Without spoiling too much of the plot, after Peter Dinklage’s character Roman Lunyov is introduced, the movie picks up the pace, putting the audience at the edge of their seat.
Roman is a short-tempered man who finds Marla’s personality “utterly disgusting.” While the two do not see eye to eye, they ironically mirror one another in stubbornness and determination for wealth.
Marla’s powerful and dynamic friendships will have the audience forget how bad of a person she is to everyone in her life except Fran. She believes the only way to show that you care is to take what you want by force. Marla never sees what she does as greedy or wrong and instead views it as abuse of a system that is already corrupt.
The building of the dramatics in the atmosphere are evident toward the middle of the film. The sound and video techniques used in the movie create an extremely suspenseful and sometimes terrifying atmosphere.
Although the main theme of the movie is greed and selfishness, viewers will often find themselves on Marla’s side because of how convincing she is in regard to her profession not being the worst thing in the world.
Her lack of growth and emotional development is fully seen by the end of the film. Either way, any growth may be too late to save her from a lifetime of greed and lies.
The film is original and eye-opening, reeling you in with the evident humor and cunning of Marla Grayson.
With a thrilling plot and lively characters, “I Care A Lot” is a captivating movie that reiterates the idea of greed and shows how kindness can be fake and used towards somebody’s advantage.