Movie Review: I Care a Lot

John Thomas

Feldstrom (Macon Blair) has come to the elder care facility to visit his mother, whom he had not visited in a long time. The guards at the doors to the reception area are pushy and aggressive, finally knocking him to the floor and calling the police.

Before a judge, pleading his case to visit his mother is pointless because on the other side of the courtroom sits Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike). Marla is in the business of caring for the elderly and what a lucrative business she has. She and her assistant collect information on prospective wealthy clients, then pounce on them like starving vultures on a corpse. They take everything the person has.

The two begin by paying a visit to the home of the potential client. If the situation appears to be financially rewarding, they contact their own physician who declares the unsuspecting victim incompetent to live alone. Marla takes the medical report to an attorney who prepares a document putting Marla in charge (medical power of attorney).

These reports are then presented to a judge who reviews and approves them. Once the victim is sequestered in a facility of Marla’s choosing, she and her associate move on to sell furnishing, drain any bank accounts and finally sell the home.

All goes smoothly until Marla knocks on the wrong door. Her research identifies a victim in Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), who has no family, lives alone in a big paid-for home and has additional assets. Dressed fashionably and with a big smile on her face, Marla knocks on Jennifer’s door. She hands her a document signed by the judge appointing Marla as her guardian with full control of her and her assets.

The assistant goes upstairs to help Jennifer pack some things and then drives her to a facility where her mobile phone is confiscated and she’s escorted to her new rooms. Jennifer, realizing what’s taking place, and before Marla leaves, warns Marla that she has just put herself in grave danger.

The grave danger is Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage), head of a powerful Russian mob. Hearing of what’s taken place with Jennifer, he sets wheels in motion to have her released. Approaching the situation through legal channels doesn’t work so Roman moves on to financial incentives.

When they also fail, he ups the stakes to an accidental murder attempt. Even that attempt proves unsuccessful. The only result of his actions is to put himself in the cross hairs of Marla who has similar ideas to his. The two meet face-to-face in his hospital room to begin negotiating Jennifer’s release.

Roman agrees to Marla’s ten-million-dollar ransom demand but offers her a deal even more lucrative than anything she could have imagined on her own. The only catch is they have to become partners – difficult because they don’t like or trust one another. Neither one, however, can resist the potential of a nationwide billion-dollar health care empire.

Their scheme is an enormous success and makes Marla a TV celebrity. Leaving the studio after a televised interview, Marla is startled to see Feldstrom waiting for her in the parking lot. When they first met in the courtroom, he didn’t have enough ammunition to neutralize her, but now he does.

Directed by J. Brakeson (Credits: The 5th Wave, The Appointment) this 118-minute film is a “should see.”


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