I Care A Lot

Elijin

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So I just watched this.

Credit to the film for making me side with the absolutely irredeemable, human trafficking, murdering russian mobsters.

I am filled with pointless rage at the leading ladies being an example of smug pieces of shit who games the letter of the law to defy the spirit of the law. Their entire livelihood is based on defrauding elderly people, manipulating the system to declare them incompetent, then legally robbing them while stealing their independence.

The film spends two thirds of its run time suggesting a karmic retribution is coming....and it does not. She fucking wins. Wins on a scale she couldn't possibly imagine at the start of the journey.

She does get to eat shit in the final minute of the film, but only AFTER her "business model" scam is turned into a literal fucking national corporate operation. Fucking American Dream, fuck this shit.


As someone in the health sector, this touched a nerve, smilingly showing people openly gaming the system to line their pockets and screw over the weak.

Anyway fuck this mov....well, probably not the movie as much the believability of the story. Actually no, fuck this movie, the trailers made it look like a lighthearted karmic comedy, and now I just feel pissy having thrown it on to eat an hour or so.

Pointless rant over I guess, just ruffled my feathers 🤷‍♂️
 

XsjadoBlayde

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I don't think you're meant to like them, hence the ending. It's a particular type of film where it purposefully creates tension through the feeling of being surrounded by sharks eating sharks. It lent a bit into satire too, especially near the end where she was speaking on interviews paraphrasing the "pulled meself up by me bootstraps, sir!" reasoning for her success. But I do understand why a lot of people don't like those sorts of films, if there isn't a character one can morally glue themselves too.
 

Elijin

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I don't think you're meant to like them, hence the ending. It's a particular type of film where it purposefully creates tension through the feeling of being surrounded by sharks eating sharks. It lent a bit into satire too, especially near the end where she was speaking on interviews paraphrasing the "pulled meself up by me bootstraps, sir!" reasoning for her success. But I do understand why a lot of people don't like those sorts of films, if there isn't a character one can morally glue themselves too.
Honestly I attribute it to trailers, or at least the one I saw. I dont generally mind "everyone is terrible, look at this dumpster fire" films. It looked fairly lighthearted, and then it was not.

So I threw on something casual and got an intense serious toned film that touched a personal nerve.

Like I said, pointless rant! Just blowing off some steam heh.
 
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XsjadoBlayde

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Honestly I attribute it to trailers, or at least the one I saw. I dont generally mind "everyone is terrible, look at this dumpster fire" films. It looked fairly lighthearted, and then it was not.

So I threw on something casual and got an intense serious toned film that touched a personal nerve.

Like I said, pointless rant! Just blowing off some steam heh.
Yeah very true, trailers are often useless and misrepresentative, I try to avoid them when possible. Can definitely imagine the trailer for this one being edited to look a lot more light-hearted than it is. Trailer cutting is an overlooked art form in itself, too often outsourced instead of done by those familiar with the work unfortunately. 😔
 
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Elijin

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Yeah very true, trailers are often useless and misrepresentative, I try to avoid them when possible. Can definitely imagine the trailer for this one being edited to look a lot more light-hearted than it is. Trailer cutting is an overlooked art form in itself, too often outsourced instead of done by those familiar with the work unfortunately. 😔
I don't normally watch them, but being an Amazon product, it showed me the trailer before an episode of The Expanse and I went, sure, why not. Turns out there were in fact reasons why not!
 
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Agema

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Pointless rant over I guess, just ruffled my feathers 🤷‍♂️
I think you're right. It's a badly mishandled movie. It seems to love its protagonist too much, at the cost of just about everything else.

I share the objection that what Marla Grayson does is vile. Of course, we're not really exposed to the victims except in a quasi-comedic way, which understates just how much distress what she does causes other people. Just because no-one dies from what she does should not undervalue how exploitative and unpleasant it is. My wife, likewise with connections to this area of care, found it particularly difficult. I think at some point we're supposed to think it's okay because she comes up again the Russian mafia who are worse, so what she does therefore isn't that bad. Umm...

So she totally should come a cropper, except that in the most implausible way imaginable, this pasty, office-bound, white collar criminal suddenly turns into an action movie hero out of nowhere. What the fuck? The sheer, dumb stupidity of this and its complete implausilibity shatters the film not only in terms of plot, but in tone and sensibility. Cynicism and amorality can be pulled off successfully in a movie, and again, in the first half of the film, it's on track to manage. She could have even still have ended up "winning" with an expanded operation, had the film not changed tack and collapsed itself, because it unbalances and fatally compromises its ability to carry this off. By moving the movie to be about admiration and sympathy for its lead, it ceases to have any comment for the awfulness of what she does and the nature of the system permitting it. As you say, she gets a sort of comeuppance in the last moments, but even that seems tonally wrong.

So, yeah. I think if you watch until she's drugged and put in a car that's pushed off a cliff, and skip to the credits the minute the car hits the water, you might feel you've watched a decent film.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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I think you're right. It's a badly mishandled movie. It seems to love its protagonist too much, at the cost of just about everything else.

I share the objection that what Marla Grayson does is vile. Of course, we're not really exposed to the victims except in a quasi-comedic way, which understates just how much distress what she does causes other people. Just because no-one dies from what she does should not undervalue how exploitative and unpleasant it is. My wife, likewise with connections to this area of care, found it particularly difficult. I think at some point we're supposed to think it's okay because she comes up again the Russian mafia who are worse, so what she does therefore isn't that bad. Umm...

So she totally should come a cropper, except that in the most implausible way imaginable, this pasty, office-bound, white collar criminal suddenly turns into an action movie hero out of nowhere. What the fuck? The sheer, dumb stupidity of this and its complete implausilibity shatters the film not only in terms of plot, but in tone and sensibility. Cynicism and amorality can be pulled off successfully in a movie, and again, in the first half of the film, it's on track to manage. She could have even still have ended up "winning" with an expanded operation, had the film not changed tack and collapsed itself, because it unbalances and fatally compromises its ability to carry this off. By moving the movie to be about admiration and sympathy for its lead, it ceases to have any comment for the awfulness of what she does and the nature of the system permitting it. As you say, she gets a sort of comeuppance in the last moments, but even that seems tonally wrong.

So, yeah. I think if you watch until she's drugged and put in a car that's pushed off a cliff, and skip to the credits the minute the car hits the water, you might feel you've watched a decent film.
Not to mention critics were apparently in love with (Pike) too. She was fun to hate, and (Tyrion) was a fun rival to root for. Plot was broken by that car scene though. They wouldn't botch a hit that personal so carelessly, unless the plot required it. But by the end I didn't care, and her justice felt too sudden. She should've been caught and stuck doing community service the rest of her life, but that wouldn't really translate well.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Pike is a terrific actress but I hate the character too much. You can have an absolute unredeemable bastard as your protagonist but you have to give me some way of relating to them. Actual murderer Patrick Bateman is more sympathetic than Marla Grayson. Hell Pike's character in Gone Girl is more relatable by comparison. At least she comes across as motivated by survival. Marla is just pure greed, and such a piece of shit that most of the expletives used against her by her victims are censored with asterisks in this site. What you would call a conchuda in certain Spanish dialects, for example.

I found the movie entertaining, but did not enjoy it at all.
 
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happyninja42

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As someone in the health sector, this touched a nerve, smilingly showing people openly gaming the system to line their pockets and screw over the weak.
Yeah I work with US veterans and their families, and a LARGE % of our clients are elderly veterans or elderly widows of veterans, applying for VA Pension now that they are looking at Elder Care costs. And while it doesn't happen all the time, there are an unfortunate number of cases where we see the family members clearly milking the elderly for their funds. Or a trophy wife milking an old veteran. It's frustrating as hell, so yeah, I could see a film about that really not going down well personally. I probably couldn't sit through it.

I'm not a fan of "let's watch an asshole being an asshole" kind of stories, just like I'm not a fan of video games where you play the villain. They anger me. So I'm glad I had no plans on watching the film anyway. Now I definitely won't.
 
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Agema

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Plot was broken by that car scene though.
Yes. Anyone who has ever been anaesthetised or taken a whackload of sedative drugs will know that the last thing that's going to happen is you are suddenly going to jolt back into full consciousness. (At least, I think she was drugged. Maybe they just asphyxiated her into unconsciousness.)

Not seen it myself but Upper Echelon Gamers had a different take pointing out maybe after a certain point what we see isn't what's going on
Oh god. 26 minutes? This is not going to be good. But I gave it a go.

It starts badly when they are trying to explain the difference between an antihero and an antagonist. The lead character of a story is a protagonist; an antagonist is their opponent. Marla is the protagonist, so she literally cannot be the antagonist. You can call people like her "villain protagonists", or something like that. All this stuff about the antagonist not forming some relationship with the audience is garbage. In countless dramas, we are very clearly asked to relate to the antagonist. For instance, in Antigone, the protagonist and antagonist (Antigone and her uncle Creon) are both presented in ways we could sympathise with either and both; it's an intensely human dispute. So this guy completely ignorant of basics of drama.

Next, it launches into this speil that Marla is weak. This is wrong. Totally, utterly, absolutely wrong. This conclusion is built on a transparently absurd argument of what strength is. The government is strong, multinational pharma are strong, so she is not. I'm sorry, what? Strength is ability to send in the army or own billions? Are resolve, physical brawn, intelligence, resilience, hard work, etc. not strength on a personal level?

Then I heard the word "misandrist" and switched right off. Being hopelessly ignorant is bad, 26-minute rants are bad, but being a tedious anti-"woke" blowhard as well is beyond tolerable.
 
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Gordon_4

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Yes. Anyone who has ever been anaesthetised or taken a whackload of sedative drugs will know that the last thing that's going to happen is you are suddenly going to jolt back into full consciousness. (At least, I think she was drugged. Maybe they just asphyxiated her into unconsciousness.)



Oh god. 26 minutes? This is not going to be good. But I gave it a go.

It starts badly when they are trying to explain the difference between an antihero and an antagonist. The lead character of a story is a protagonist; an antagonist is their opponent. Marla is the protagonist, so she literally cannot be the antagonist. You can call people like her "villain protagonists", or something like that. All this stuff about the antagonist not forming some relationship with the audience is garbage. In countless dramas, we are very clearly asked to relate to the antagonist. For instance, in Antigone, the protagonist and antagonist (Antigone and her uncle Creon) are both presented in ways we could sympathise with either and both; it's an intensely human dispute. So this guy completely ignorant of basics of drama.

Next, it launches into this speil that Marla is weak. This is wrong. Totally, utterly, absolutely wrong. This conclusion is built on a transparently absurd argument of what strength is. The government is strong, multinational pharma are strong, so she is not. I'm sorry, what? Strength is ability to send in the army or own billions? Are resolve, physical brawn, intelligence, resilience, hard work, etc. not strength on a personal level?

Then I heard the word "misandrist" and switched right off. Being hopelessly ignorant is bad, 26-minute rants are bad, but being a tedious anti-"woke" blowhard as well is beyond tolerable.
Based on what has been said, the most unbelievable thing in the movie is that a Russian gangster would leave the hit on the person who fleeced and more or less killed his mother to the kind of chance the movie portrays. And so impersonal too.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Based on what has been said, the most unbelievable thing in the movie is that a Russian gangster would leave the hit on the person who fleeced and more or less killed his mother to the kind of chance the movie portrays. And so impersonal too.
It’s almost like he saw a kindred spirit in her, and subconsciously sabotaged his efforts at exacting vengeance. Especially considering the ending. Yeah, I’ll go with that before putting much more thought into it.
 

Agema

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Based on what has been said, the most unbelievable thing in the movie is that a Russian gangster would leave the hit on the person who fleeced and more or less killed his mother to the kind of chance the movie portrays. And so impersonal too.
The film plays at the comedy incompetence of the mob stooges in the first half. A grown-up Home Alone caper about the wacky attempts of some hoodlums to get a boss's mother out of a care home whilst the boss fumes at their uselessness would have been a better movie.
 

Xprimentyl

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So I just watched this.

Credit to the film for making me side with the absolutely irredeemable, human trafficking, murdering russian mobsters.

I am filled with pointless rage at the leading ladies being an example of smug pieces of shit who games the letter of the law to defy the spirit of the law. Their entire livelihood is based on defrauding elderly people, manipulating the system to declare them incompetent, then legally robbing them while stealing their independence.

The film spends two thirds of its run time suggesting a karmic retribution is coming....and it does not. She fucking wins. Wins on a scale she couldn't possibly imagine at the start of the journey.

She does get to eat shit in the final minute of the film, but only AFTER her "business model" scam is turned into a literal fucking national corporate operation. Fucking American Dream, fuck this shit.


As someone in the health sector, this touched a nerve, smilingly showing people openly gaming the system to line their pockets and screw over the weak.

Anyway fuck this mov....well, probably not the movie as much the believability of the story. Actually no, fuck this movie, the trailers made it look like a lighthearted karmic comedy, and now I just feel pissy having thrown it on to eat an hour or so.

Pointless rant over I guess, just ruffled my feathers
I wish I had noticed this thread before posting my sentiments in the "Last thing you watched" thread, but yes, I 100% agree. The film made... angry? Like how for the final third did they attempt to make Pike even remotely, by the farthest stretch of the most distant area code of the farthest boundaries of "righteous," an ad hoc "protagonist?" She was evil. Disgusting. Reprehensible. She deserved every threat Dinklage leveled at her, and she got NONE of it, in fact, she got OVER on him to the point he bent the knee! Here was my take:

I Care A Lot: Jesus Christ / 10

Film about a horrible woman running an elaborate scam wherein she uses the courts to get legal guardianship over elderly people whom she then effectively imprisons in assisted living facilities while she siphons off their assets, sells off their homes and pockets the cash. She unwittingly makes the mistake of picking one particular "client" who is literally too good to be true, and she finds herself tangled up with ostensibly more reprehensible people than herself.

I like when a movie gives me someone to hate; I like wringing my hands for an hour or two, waiting for their inevitable comeuppance. What I don't like is being dicked around. I really can't say too much without spoiling it, but this film dicked me around. It tried to make it up to me in the very end, but it wasn't nearly as satisfying as they intended it to be. Also, it's billed as a "black comedy?" Maybe I don't know what a black comedy is then, because I never felt any semblance of humor in this film.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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I wish I had noticed this thread before posting my sentiments in the "Last thing you watched" thread, but yes, I 100% agree. The film made... angry? Like how for the final third did they attempt to make Pike even remotely, by the farthest stretch of the most distant area code of the farthest boundaries of "righteous," an ad hoc "protagonist?" She was evil. Disgusting. Reprehensible. She deserved every threat Dinklage leveled at her, and she got NONE of it, in fact, she got OVER on him to the point he bent the knee! Here was my take:
The feminists loved Pike in it though, mainly because it’s the latest girl power movie and that’s what will make headlines. The fact her actions were reprehensible or that both her and Dinklage fall through gaping plot holes plays no part in any mass media showering of praise, disguised as assessment, disguised as a critique.
 
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Piscian

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I enjoyed it until the wheels sort of come off midway through. I would point out the cohen bros do a great job of making villains that captivate you. I never really felt like the movie was pawing at me to empathize or root for Pike. I feel like we're confusing empathy with compelling. Like nobody is rooting for Darth Vader, but we get excited when he shows up on screen to be terrifying. The fact that she has a relationship with this other criminal didn't garner any sympathy from me. I just enjoyed how insidious she was.

That said the whole deal with this drug lord having bare minimum security and being so easily undermined felt like they didn't have it in the script outline, they only wanted it to end with them making a deal, and scribbled it in later. Kinda ruined the film for me.

I would actually disagree and go the other direction, the divine retribution at the end felt a little hoaky. I'll bet theres alternate endings where it ends on an intense dark note that she succeeds. Imo sometimes movies are better for us not getting a happy ending. Movies like Wag The Dog, American Psycho and Lord Of War come to mind.

I'll still say I wouldn't give it a positive review. It felt like a mild tonal mess and the second half is pretty rough overall. I really enjoyed Pike and Dinklage I'm sad to give them one a big thumbs down.
 

Avnger

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Not seen it myself but Upper Echelon Gamers had a different take pointing out maybe after a certain point what we see isn't what's going on

Nothing helps me wake up in the morning better than some 20+ minute culture warrior rambling against the latest movie to star a non-fetishized woman.
 
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