The Gift (2015) Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman Movie Review

The Gift (2015)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Rebecca Hall and Jason Bateman in The Gift (2015)


After an issue with prescription drugs, Robyn (Rebecca Hall) and her husband Simon (Jason Bateman) move to a fancy new home close to the town where Simon grew up as he has a new job in the city. It is whilst buying furnishings for the house that Simon runs in to Gordo (Joel Edgerton) who he had gone to school with. But after that first encounter Gordo keeps showing up at their home with gifts for them and seems like he wants to be part of their lives. It inevitably leads to tension between Robyn and Simon as she sees a cruel side to her husband she wasn't aware of as he mocks Gordo but it also leads to tension between Gordo and Simon as something happened in their past which Gordo can't let go of.

To give credit where it is due as actor, writer and director Joel Edgerton has certainly delivered an engaging thriller which draws on human nature and that inquisitive part of our make-up where we have to know. As such from the minute we meet the slightly off Gordo who seems edgy and awkward when he runs in to Simon there is part of us who wants to know; know why he is like that, how they know each other and why he seems to be inserting himself into their lives. I am not going to tell you what the history is between them, it is shocking yet makes you think, and I won't tell you what Gordo does, but again it is shocking but also thought provoking because of the power of doubt and are need to know.

Joel Edgerton in The Gift (2015)

But whilst the revelations are very much what makes the movie there is more to "The Gift" than that. Edgerton has done a nice job of writing a trio of characters who are fascinating in different ways. There is Gordo with that slight nervousness which makes you wonder what is wrong and then there is Robyn who also has a bit of nervousness going on but we see acts strangely when she is around babies crying and also medication which makes us inquisitive. But the real great writing is of Simon and the casting of Jason Bateman is perfect as we first think he is a supportive husband and a real nice guy, then we see that he is in fact quite controlling, then we see he is also quite sneaky in the way he does things before then discovering his secret past.

There is though one thing about "The Gift" I am not sure of and whilst Edgerton has done a nice job of the writing when it comes to his styling as a director well I am not sure whether it is lacking or not. It is simply a case that the movie works but there are numerous scenes where I just felt the camera could have done more to make the scene come to life but without over powering the characters or story. In truth I am not sure whether more styling would have worked with the movie or not but for me it just felt like it needed something which stopped the camera work from feeling ordinary.

What this all boils down to is that "The Gift" is undeniably a very good movie and Edgerton has shown he understands the power of that need to know and how doubt can be unsettling. But whilst there is nothing wrong with "The Gift" there is part of me which feels like it was lacking something.