THE GIFT (2015)
Last night, I was on the edge of my front row cinema seats watching The Gift. Actor Joel Edgerton makes his directorial debut with this new psychological thriller, which is disturbing to say the least.
When the happily married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) encounter an old high-school acquaintance of Simon’s, ‘Weirdo’ Gordo (Joel Edgerton), their relationship begins to alter. Gordo, who surprises the couple with gifts, unexpected visits to their house and handwritten notes, is a creepy character and Simon questions his intentions. Things take a sinister turn when Robyn starts to discover who this mysterious man from Simon’s past really is and the secrets that have been hidden away for over 25 years. Simon’s aggressive and competitive nature is slowly revealed, whilst Robyn is strained with paranoia about her husband lying to her and his creepy old high-school acquantance, Gordo. As the story unravels, the characters’ personalities and intentions are questioned, twisting the viewers mind into uneasy uncertainty and confusion.
I was certainly in suspense for a lot of the film, mainly waiting for it to end! The pace was slow and I was not as engrossed or entertained as I would have liked to have been. Bateman’s and Hall’s onscreen relationship seemed strained, even initially when they were ‘happily married’, so I found it difficult to feel emotionally involved when things started to fall apart. I felt detached from the characters and the unbelievable story-line. However, when the film came to an end, I had some very strong opinions about the characters and plot – which were almost completely different from my CineMate! This movie, that evoked a heated debate afterwards and a strong preference towards certain characters and ideas, must have captured my interest to some deeper level than I originally thought. And for that, I must credit this film and actor/director Joel Edgerton.