The actress Rosamund Pike shows once again that when she is bad she is “much better” in a film by J. Blakeson that contrasts evil with the vulnerability of the elderly
Said the charismatic actress May West (1893-1980) that of “When I am good, I am very good; but when I’m bad, I’m better “, a phrase that seems to be tailored to the actress Rosamund Pike. If in ‘Lost’ (2014), by David Fincher, she already showed that she could be a dangerous and uncontrolled harpy, in ‘I care a lot’ not only confirms it, but also elevates the cinematographic evil to the category of art (the interpreter earned this year a Golden Globe nomination for this role) with a job that is, really, the mainstay of this entire film directed and written by J. Blakeson.
“Before, I was like you. I believed that if I tried, I would be successful and happy… but no, ”declares her character, Marla Grayson, at the beginning of the film. “In the world there are two kinds of people: those who take and those who take; predators and prey…”, Add. In case there were any doubts, it is presented to the spectators just before the action starts as a “Lioness” that hunts mercilessly. And which are they their victims ?: elderly people who can be declared in a situation of mental incapacity, with the complicity with doctors and nursing homes, to assume their legal guardianship and keep absolutely all their assets.
Everything is going well for him until he runs into a supposed “caramelito”, a peaceful woman without a family and with a fairly high economic wealth. which, finally, turns out not to be what it seems. From there, Marla will try to emerge unscathed from a situation that will get more and more complicated for her.
‘I care a lot ‘is a’ dodgy ‘thriller that leaves a bad body, a film in which all the characters are either bad or worses, a film that shows how defenseless the most vulnerable are and how easy it is to fall into the hands of any unscrupulous soulless.
Far from glorifying other ‘movie baddies’, like that one Hannibal Lecter who only ‘eats’ squatters and unkind people, empathizing with the character of Marla Grayson is difficult, impossible. But despite that, his determination, his consistency, his bravery and courage in fighting desperately and, of course, his perverse sense of humor is recognized. There is one of the successes of Rosamund Pike: Don’t try to make your character likeable. Perhaps the fascination we feel for him can only find its explanation in the most reptilian and hidden level of our brain, the one that is vital for survival, the one that is always alert to any danger.. Or is it, perhaps, because deep down he does what almost everyone would like to do at some point in life: break the rules?
At his side, the rest of the characters, including those who embody Peter Dinklage (‘Game of Thrones’) or own Dianne West (‘Hannah and her sisters’, ‘Eduardo Scissorhands’) is relegated to simple caricature. Because if there is something that Rosamund Pike impresses on this Marla Grayson of excessive ambition, it is precisely humanity in knowing how to face adversity and self-forgive weaknesses. Like her character in ‘Lost’, but also like the Catherine Tramell from ‘Basic Instinct’ (1992), the now classic by Paul Verhoeven, or Bridget Gregory from ‘The Last Seduction’ (1994) by John Dahl, Marla Grayson could enter the podium of the most evil female characters in recent film history in her own right, elevating the film to the category of cult film that only reaches the most transgressive thrillers. That is why it hurts that an excessively moralistic ending prevents the film from going further, that it cuts its wings after having dared to go so far. It hurts that the writer and director did not want to be as ruthlessly brave as Marla herself. In this the film does not do justice to his great character.
Despite this, the film has a agile realization and outstanding production design in which the colors (blue, yellow) also print a more sophisticated stamp if possible to the sibylline evil of Marla. Also the outstanding Marc Canhan’s music gives clean synth a kind of ‘revival’ to those 80s of savage capitalism unscrupulous in which Marla, indisputably, would have fitted so well and, of course, triumphed.
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‘I care a lot’, a ‘dodgy’ thriller of those that leave a bad body