The Collegian
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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Film Fridays: "I Care a Lot"

<p><em>Graphic by Carissa Gurgul</em></p>

Graphic by Carissa Gurgul

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.

Rosamund Pike has had her fair share of roles. She’s portrayed a manipulative psychopath in “Gone Girl,” a hardened war correspondent in “A Private War” and played a wide range of other parts.

Yet, in “I Care a Lot,” Pike turns the sophisticated, strong woman character that she has embodied many times, and turns it on its head. Pike makes use of the incredible acting skills she has developed and delivers a solid performance that stands out amidst her gallery of past films.

Pike takes on the role of Marla Grayson, a crooked legal guardian who profits off of her elderly wards. Grayson is ruthless with her aspiration of becoming lavishly wealthy. She cheats, lies, betrays and is downright sinister to those she has gained control over. She knows how to play the legal system and knows what needs to be done to secure her success until she encounters someone she isn’t prepared for. 

Peter Dinklage, known for his role as Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones,” also plays an intimidating, yet comedic role as the apparent antagonist of the film. The onscreen chemistry between Pike and Dinklage was the best part of this film. Their interactions, although brief, show the dynamic range of both actors and every shared scene fills the screen with tension. 

The slight mannerisms of both characters and the subtle cues from director J Blakeson make every confrontation suspenseful while also including slight comedic elements. I was not left wanting more from either actor.

Even with Pike delivering one of her strongest performances, “I Care a Lot” still has its fair share of issues. I wouldn’t label it as a bad film or a great film. 

It has some excellent qualities such as the film’s color palette, cinematography and writing. Additionally, I thought every character was dynamic and kept the plot moving. Yet the film also lags in other areas.

Even with its two fantastic lead actors, “I Care a Lot” started to feel more like a chore as I reached the conclusion of the film. There are a lot of unanswered questions that the film briefly addresses and then disregards entirely. I’ll avoid divulging any spoilers, but I’m sure you’ll have similar gripes after watching.

“I Care a Lot” is a dark, dark comedy. It touches on themes of growing old and the manipulation of those in their twilight years. It also carries emotional weight, dwelling on love, family and the lengths we are willing to go to protect those we care about. The film delivers strong performances, witty and comedic dialogue and very dark overtones. Yet it fails to draw in the audience in any meaningful way. 

It doesn’t make you reflect post-credits. There is no long-term impression that the film leaves its viewer with. Instead, all you’re given is a twist and a highly unsatisfying ending.

If you’re in the mood for a dark comedy that has some great performances I’d suggest giving this film a viewing. 

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“I Care a Lot” is available to stream on Netflix.

Contact writer Quinn Humphrey at quinn.humphrey@richmond.edu

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