Netflix’s ‘I Care A Lot’: too long to be good

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Photo Courtesy of the New York Times

Netflix’s ‘I Care A Lot’ has grown in popularity this week. The movie initially grabs your attention, but has trouble maintaining that energy throughout.

Bridget Janis, Staff Reporter

Netflix always seems to come in handy with its top ten watches of the week. This week in the number one spot is “I Care a Lot”, this Netflix Original was a great, simple and easy watch — at least it was at the start. 

Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) is a court-appointed guardian for a lot of old people who were deemed “not able to take care of themselves anymore.” She comes off as a caring and thoughtful person, though soon viewers find out that she might not be all that she appears to be. 

Along with her partner and girlfriend Fran (Eiza Gonzàlez), they take over the lives of these senior citizens, putting them in a nursing home and gaining access to all their items and bank accounts. 

The pair think they just found the perfect women to control and be their guardian for —  seniors with no family, lots of money and expensive furniture. But soon they run into a little trouble, and not everyone or anything seems to be what they thought.

The film does a great job of making the audience sympathize with someone who is in the wrong, Marla. She definitely was marketed as the protagonist until you truly think about what she’s doing, then you begin to question your own morals and why you’re rooting for her. 

Films that offer  these complex characters are always a great watch because they offer something new to the screen. The moral ambiguity here is almost enough to make you forget that what Marla’s doing is illegal. 

The roles and characters just felt very natural. In the lead up to this movie being released, Gonzàlez has been all over the internet, and honestly no one is mad about it. Her and Pike play their roles super well and it’s always impressive how well Pike’s American accent is, even though she’s British.

There was some questionable cinematography in scenes where people were sitting across from each other talking, but other than that camera work was well done. 

The movie also could have further developed the characters. There is no explanation as to why Marla and Fran are doing what they do. Making their motivation clearer would have gone a long way.

The major issue with the film is that the feeling in the first half was extremely different than the second half of the film. The first was more lighthearted and the second seemed more gloomy. 

The lighter vibe in the beginning seemed more fitting and the dramatic shift during the movie felt unnecessary. They tried too hard to create a comedy into a thriller.

The beginning had interesting elements to work with. A scam a lot of people didn’t know could be happening, plot twists that came out of nowhere and generally an interesting plot. It was all nicely set up, a real successful start. 

The end on the other hand was not the best. It would have been better having Marla die rather than going with the ending that they chose to go with, a strange conclusion that ultimately contradicted a lot of the film. 

In short — the film was good, until it was bad. Two hours was just way too long for this film, it could have been wrapped sooner and been a better film.

2.5/5 stars