Sunday, May 8, 2016

Film Review: The Gift (2015)

Copyright: STX Entertainment
Concepts of a thriller movie and a mystery movie are often strongly connected, especially when it comes to impressive films which encompass both notions. If done right, the source of the tension and suspense can arise straight from the plot’s core mystery.

The Gift is a film that combines these two in the right manner, but also does it in a low-key manner, gradually building up seemingly irrelevant facts on upon the other.

As the image begins to make sense, the film revs its engines to full power, making the experience of a flawless thriller that is both modern and vintage when it comes to its delivery. In more ways, the film hooks the viewer slowly and with utmost precision, which is why you cannot feel the sting until it starts to lure you in.

The story of the film examines a young couple, Robyn and Simon, who are expecting a baby. They moved to a new city so Simon can begin his new job while Robyn is focused on her pregnancy. But, one day, they stumble into Simon’s old friend from school, Gordo. Apparently happy to see his high school buddy, Gordo becomes involved in their life through a simple gift he leaves on their doorstep. But, as time goes by, their relationship becomes more odd and complicated, as different bits and pieces from the lives of the two friends become known.

Directed by Joel Edgerton, who also wrote the script and stars as Gordo, the film makes a fine trip into several psychological domains, mainly memories and true personalities. As the interplay of the main three characters intensifies, the audience is driven to ask a multitude of questions, whether they want this or not. Fueled by the always solid Rebecca Hall and a surprisingly believable Jason Bateman in a non-comedic role, The Gift starts to unwrap as a present that part of you wants to leave unopened.

Ever since The Animal Kingdom, it was clear that Edgerton had some real talent and a layered quality to his acting style. The Gift, as an excellent mystery thriller shows that the same quality definitely spans a lot more areas in the cinematic domain.