I Care a Lot (2021) Review: A Devilishly Fun Time (Written by Anna Miller)
I Care a Lot drops today on Netflix, and is the service’s brand new dark comedic thriller, by director J Blakeson. It stars Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González, and Dianne Wiest, and is a devilishly fun and intense ride. It dives straight into a web of morally depraved individuals trying their best to thwart the other, all while simultaneously attempting to maintain the status of unscathed, yet victorious.
Rosamund Pike is back once again, a powerhouse as always. This time as Marla, a quick-witted and calculated legal guardian who traps vulnerable members of the elderly community under her care, exploiting them and wringing out every single one of their possessions dry for her own financial gain.
The supporting cast keeps up with Pike’s energy and performance as best as one can: Peter Dinklage plays a menacing role as the conniving mobster with anger issues. There’s also Eiza González who plays a powerful character as Marla’s partner and romantic interest. The two thrive alongside one another until ultimately, the trap door they were unaware they were standing upon, is pulled, and they plummet to face their inexorable consequences, only to try and claw their way back up together.
Even still, Pike is unmatched in her role; equipped with an Amy Dunne-like ferocity and guilefulness, she obliterates her adversaries with an absolute onslaught of witty dialogue and formidable feminist aura. And although nothing will quite live up to the infamy of her “Cool Girl” monologue in Fincher’s Gone Girl (2014), she’s still got plenty of sagacious comebacks and witty quips here to devour in this particular script, with which she seems utterly at home.
Due to the equivalently immoral individuals battling it out and fighting dirty throughout the film, it can appear that whoever the viewer considers the protagonist is very much ambiguous and subjective to each individual. Everyone’s a sleaze, no one in question is truly “good”, so a supposed query to solve this perplexity that’s forced upon the viewer is the classic: “who’s the lesser of the two evils?”
Though, if one doesn’t want to bother with the principles of it all and would rather sit back (or rather, on the edge of their seat) and be entertained, this would sufficiently do the trick in the amusement department as well.
The film sounds wonderful, has a pulse pumping score to match its tone quite well, and has looks to kill which is quite parallel to Marla’s wardrobe and style. It’s shot gorgeously, if not a bit unexpected in the cinematography department, but it’s always a pleasant surprise to be treated to a darkly comedic thriller that also looks good on top of it all.
I Care a Lot checks out in all the departments and is a genuinely enjoyable watch. The performances are solid, and it’s an original enough premise to not be considered a cheap, recycled cash grab by an all-mighty streaming service. Perhaps don’t check into your moral compass too often during your watch, and you’ll blissfully enjoy a sharp, compelling time sprinkled with some dark humor and, in my case, an upheld respected fear of one: Ms. Pike.
I Care a Lot gets a 4/5.