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You Must See This: I Care a Lot

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The best thriller of the year, and it's funny. On Netflix.

I Care a Lot

I Care a Lot is one of the best comedy thrillers ever by Netflix, with enough contemporary relevance to supply several heavy-duty dramas. Marla (Rosamund Pike) and Fran (Eiza Gonzalez) are super-scammers who lift the wealth of nursing-home residents by making Marla their guardian. This is a new definition of “eldercare” along with conservator as con artist, Marla, who just may turn out to be the villain you hate to love.

Not only does their charm and considerable physical skills carry their scam into near-wealth, Marla has so ingratiated herself with the court system that she is invulnerable to charges that she becomes a guardian solely to enrich herself and Fran. Marla is a femme fatale representing the culmination of chilling corporate greed; she is the embodiment of the new woman who can wheel and deal with the men and do them better.

Marla is a sociopath, a predator with a killer smile. As lesbians, she and Fran do just fine to emphasize men are not needed for modern women to kick butt both physically and socially. Watch Marla when she’s tied up and a hairsbreadth from death—she’s calm, cool and still smart enough to con the man-thug who’s tied her up.

Pike is the new bad-girl heroine, intellectually tough and emotionally guarded enough to con the rest of the world into submission, and make us like her in return.Think savvy Thelma and Louise gone bad but more bas-ass than those feminist icons could ever have been. Marla is the brains of the outfit, who worms her way into nursing-home Nirvana by hooking up with its director, the judge, and a doctor, whose recommendations will put old ladies away forever with their wealth carefully tended by Marla.

Writer-director J Blakeson introduces another loveable rogue, Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage), a Russian mafia type, not happy that Marla has incarcerated his dear friend Jennifer (a terrific Dianne Wiest). So ensues a sometimes-hilarious game of cat and mouse between Roman and Marla, scam artists who deserve each other.  The two villains are so charming and competent, you’ll wonder what happened to your moral compass. Hey, it’s the 21st century; ethical standards are so last year.

As we uncomfortably realize how vulnerable we could be in our dwindling years and how many conservators out there are grifters, the danger to society and ourselves becomes only too apparent. The satire is humorous, for all characters are almost comic book types, but the tongue-in-cheek attitude barely masks the potential for this scamming to become real for many old folks.

I Care a Lot is an exciting thriller become a cautionary tale for those who feel they’ll be secure in old age. If you’re secure, then enjoy the director’s considerable skill with the action sequences, especially underwater. In other words, Netflix gives you a cozy, exciting evening that may encourage you to look more carefully at your estate and your future.

I Care a lot

Director: J Blakeson (Gunpowder)

Screenplay: Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed)

Cast: Rosamund Pike (Radioactive) Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent)

Run Time: 1h 58m

Rating: R

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JohnDeSando62@gmail.com

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, is host of WCBE's programs It's Movie Time and Cinema Classics, and the podcasts Back Talk and Double Take. Contact him at johndesando52@gmail.com.