The Gift is directed by Joel Edgerton and stars Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Edgerton.
The story revolves around a married couple, Simon and Sarah that moves in Chicago, where Simon (Jason Bateman) was born and raised. They soon encounter a Gordo (Joel Edgerton) who claims that he knew Simon in high school despite Simon’s non-recollection of him. The couple invites Simon home for diner, and soon afterwards they start receiving gifts on the doorstep, and start becoming harassed by Gordo, whose past history with Simon is unclear . . .
The Gift is the first real surprising movie of 2015 and one of the year’s best so far. This movie is fanfreakingtastic.
At it’s core, The Gift is a thriller, but at it’s heart, it’s much more deeper than that. It has layers upon layers that you would not expect in a movie like this and I have to give Joel Edgerton major props. This is his directorial debut, and my god; this movie is so well directed. The film is filled with tension filled moments that kept me on the edge of my seat. Jason Bateman gives the best role of his entire career as Simon. For me personally, I’ve always liked Jason Bateman even though he tends to play the same character in every movie he’s done since Arrested Development. But not here. I didn’t see Jason Bateman, I saw the character, and that’s the biggest praise that I can give an actor. He was subdued, layered and even despicable at times. He added personality to his character and a backstory and the best type of characters are the ones that you can imagine having a life before the movie starts. Same goes for Joel Edgerton’s performance, which could have really crumpled this movie if it hadn’t been played just right, but Joel Edgerton found a way to make his character compelling, scary, multi-dimensional and added a new meaning to the word “psycho.”
Rebecca Hall was also fantastic and she gives a very calm and nurtured performance. She was the perfect actress for the role, and she really did a good job selling the more intense scenes and situations that her character goes through.
In his directorial debut, Joel Edgerton proves that he has immense talent for directing and knows how to build tension filled scenes and also writes interesting and compelling dialogue. The script is so well written, that you are so focused on the words that the characters say and you are just waiting for the next word that comes out of their mouths.
The finale of this movie, without giving anything away, is heartbreaking, and makes you wonder who the villain really is in this film and not everything is in black and white. The movie raises these questions and does it beautifully.
As for flaws, the film is perhaps ten minutes too long, and has a few scenes that are a bit repetitious. But that’s it.
The Gift is an engrossing and an engaging thriller that offers fantastic performances, swift direction, compelling characters and a great directorial debut from Joel Edgerton.