Updated: Mar 17, 2021
A shady legal guardian lands in hot water when she tries to bilk a woman who has ties to a powerful gangster.
“Look at you, sitting there. You think you’re good people. You’re not good people. Trust me, there’s no such thing as good people”
These are the first callous words uttered by our supposedly girl boss anti-hero Marla. She rocks a stylish bob that wavers with each calculating move she makes and a vape-pen, inhaled at every criminal problem she faces. This is a woman with an ambition to exploit any system, any person for the purpose of a singular immaterial aspiration. Money. And she’s also a horrible human being that’s willing to emotionally abuse the elderly whilst taking complete advantage of the bureaucratic system of care-homes and legal guardians.
“I Care A Lot’ is a film that wants to be a neo-noir and stylish commentary but disappointingly it does fall short on itself. As the film progresses, the overall aim or critique (or satire?) that this film is hoping to communicate to its audience is too confusing to make a significant impact on the watcher once the credits roll.
We are introduced to Marla Singer and her scheme which involves marking members of the elderly as ‘too poor to take care of themselves’, appeals them to the court as appoint her as their legal guardian, then once the member of the elderly is sent to the care home, takes complete advantage of the life they would’ve had by selling every last inch of property owned by them, and takes all the profits. All under the pretext that she just cares.
Marla does not complete this extremely illegal and immoral hustle alone though, but with her wife Fran. Giving LGBTQ+ audiences a deliciously villainous queer couple which I couldn’t help but root for, even when there is a lack of nuance to explain their actually horrible actions.
The lesbian couple that leads the film is mostly through its performances, is compelling. I can commend that allowing two queer characters in the light of villains doesn’t damage, from what I’ve seen, the representation of lesbian characters within media which is a risk that this film takes. It doesn’t base its villainous off the queerness of the characters but rather their own personal motivations. I wouldn’t call these roles a symbol of LGBTQ+ representation but rather, nuanced representation. Creating two leads that have mis-construed intentions with moments of humanity within them.
This is only done through the talented actresses who play these characters: Roseamund Pike as Marla and Eliza Gonzalez as Fran. Although the duo complements each other extremely well with just enough chemistry to make this a captivating couple, the main star of the show goes to Roseamund Pike. I don’t know anyone who plays villains with such heartless indifference than Pike herself. Mostly known for her Oscar nominated performance in ‘Gone Girl’, she delivers the same ambiance with her character and even managed to win a Golden Globe for her performance as Marla. A well-deserved win simply because it is the highlight of the film.
By the end however, the convoluted plot manages to complicate itself even further. Nearly even falling into the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope which it manages to stray away from due to the circumstances within the scene which I won’t dive into as it is a major spoiler.
I can appreciate the director, J. Blakeson ,for attempting to create a story that delves into capitalism which is driven by a morally ambiguous lead but sadly, this is all done a disservice to due to the confusion and constant alternation in themes. I would recommend this to anyone who just wants to see Rosemund Pike bring her absolute A-game to every single scene with a just as entertaining dynamic queer couple.