“Lost in the Maze of Plot Twists” – Film Review: I Care A Lot

Sharon Hsieh

Featuring Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage, I Care A Lot is an underperformed and loosely structured movie, which shamelessly attempts to bamboozle the audience with a spiral maze of illogical plot twists. The film failed to blend various themes into a melting pot, and instead rather disorderly and arbitrarily force-feeds the audience with unprocessed materials.

I Care A Lot cannot even be bothered to solidify the political, financial or legal narrative of its background

Unlike its thrilling and well-functioned heist movie predecessors, such as Ocean’s 8 (2018), or intimately empathetic women’s crime themed films such as  Hustlers (2019), I Care A Lot cannot even be bothered to solidify the political, financial or legal narrative of its background. This deficiency inflicts deadly damage to the bedazzling effect of plot twists which it intends to achieve.

The film starts off with a heist-movie-like premise that is reminiscent of Robin Hood-esque justice, to a seemingly intricate and elaborate crime movie. It finally ends with intentions to bestow the gun appeared in the first act, a purpose with no regards for narrative coherence.

Presumably referencing and satirizing the loopholes and negligence in the American legal system pertaining elderly care, the heroine Marla Grayson is characterized to be a successful con artist exploiting this legal failure. She develops an intricate supply chain to fraud and profit from the incompetent judicial system and senior citizen.

It is unbeknownst to her that one of her targets, Jennifer Peterson, may have an inexplicably intimate relationship with a mysterious mogul of a criminal organization. The two then begin a heist to fight for the guardianship of the old lady.

The worldview of this story has never been fully developed

The uncomfortableness of being complicit in the heroine elderly abuse and lack of basic human empathy would be hard to be shaken by the audience. Yet the choice of this imposition can barely be legitimized as the worldview of this story has never been fully developed. The crimes exist merely for the purpose of creating sensational grotesqueness.

Half of the time watching the film, you would be confused whether the overarching moral that supports the narrative structure is the unquestionable sacredness of the American self-making dream to climb the social ladder at all cost, or the evil of the capitalistic battlefield.

The other half of your watching time would very likely be spent on struggling to justify either Marla’s unexplained urge to take control and forge her own upward mobility illegally, or the crime boss’s impatience to reunite with his loved one who is taken and held by Marla.

At one point, tokenistic feminism is inserted to rationalize Marla’s action, yet later ridiculed by her double standard to ill-treat other vulnerable women, which later led to her demise.

Almost none of the motifs of the characters are consistent throughout the story

Almost none of the motifs of the characters are consistent throughout the story, and the constant plot twists introduced into the story every fifteen minutes in this two-hour film seem to only cater to some audience member’s taste for fast-food content at the expense of artistic integrity.

The cinematic disaster caused by I Care A Lot is beyond salvage even with actors with exquisite achievement in performance artistry like Pike and Dinklage.  

Sharon Hsieh

Featured image courtesy of TAKA@P.P.R.S via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @mspike and @icarealotnetflix via No changes made to these images.

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