Cert: 15 Runtime: 108 mins Director: Joel Edgerton Cast: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton
See, you’re done with the past, but the past is not done with you
My original consensus for The Gift was meh I won’t bother watching that. This is me judging a book by it’s cover, fast forward to the positive reviews and reconsiderations from friends. I have finally watched The Gift, Joel Edgerton’s directorial début. What is The Gift about you ask? When married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) unexpectedly encounter Gordo (Joel Edgerton), an acquaintance from Simon’s past, little do they know that their perfect lives will be thrown into a terrifying tailspin. At first, Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo, but after a troubling series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts, a horrifying secret emerges. As Robyn learns what really happened between Simon and Gordo, she begins to question how well she knows her spouse.
There is a lot to admire in The Gift but its chief virtues are its refusal to align with any character and its unpredictability in terms of its plot. Joel Edgerton wrote, acted and directed this thriller and it is a superb piece of smart writing. He knows his audience well enough to know where our minds will take us and what we will expect to see, then he subverts the expectations and zigzags us into the dark recesses of the human heart. It may sound easy to pigeon-hole this one as “your past will come back and bite you” revenge thriller, but the script does a solid job in de-constructing the current state of climbing the social-corporate ladder and what a sound marriage entails. In short, this one has levels. I also love how Edgerton shifts gears in such a subtle manner that I never saw how it morphs from social commentary to horror to an investigative procedural and finally surges towards an exuberant mind fuck finale.Most movies nowadays sleepwalk through the usual paces but not this one. You will never be able to guess where this one is heading based on what you see in the beginning. One of best twisted movies I have seen and it even has a lot to say about the current state of human behaviour in this fast-paced society which takes no prisoners.