Saturday, August 15, 2015
Review: The Gift (2015)
'The Gift' Works Like A Giant Mystery Box Waiting To Be Opened
While the film itself is chock full of twists and turns, some of the biggest surprises are perhaps, Jason Bateman's dramatic abilities and an impressive directorial debut from co-star/writer/director Joel Edgerton.
The Gift follows the story of a couple named Simon and Robyn Callon (Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall) that move into a new house for a new start. But their seemingly idyllic life is put into a grinding halt with the sudden arrival of a former classmate of Simon's named Gordo (Joel Edgerton).
I'll start off with the story. Now, we have seen the whole story of "couple moves into nice neighborhood and becomes terrorized by a neighbor or whatever". But Joel Edgerton, who also wrote and directed this, gives us a whole new spin on that story and doesn't waste any time with set up as, right in the beginning, we have Gordo and Simon crossing paths. The new spin that Edgerton gives is that he incorporates the theme of being unable to shake off your past as it shapes into who you are now. Also, it was refreshing to see a suspenseful thriller that isn't graphic with unnecessary violence or jump scares. It gets unsettling at times, but not to the point where you feel the need to look away from the screen.
Next, I'll get into the actors. While Jason Bateman has proven himself to be a formidable comedian, here, he proves that he is an amazing dramatic actor. He really sold his character as he slowly reveals dark shades of him as the film progresses. Joel Edgerton is also very good as the very mysterious Gordo and showcases his mystique, loathing, and even vulnerability with just the use of his eyes. But as amazing as Bateman and Edgerton are, the real star of the movie is Rebecca Hall. Hall is phenomenal as Robyn who tries to see the good in Gordo despite him seeming a little too interested in being involved in the lives of her and Simon while also being weary of her own husband's motivations. Robyn is the heart and soul of this film and Hall brought this three-dimensional character to life beautifully.
Overall, The Gift is a very tense and superbly acted thriller that is a marvelous directorial debut from Joel Edgerton. Edgerton brought a real 'gift' to the suspense genre that is neatly wrapped in a shiny bow.
Would I Recommend It?:
Absolutely. Go to your nearest multiplex and check it out for yourself.