Film Review: “The Gift” (2015) ★★★★★

The Gift

Simon and Robyn are happily married. While she is an interior designer, he works for a billion dollar organisation. Simon is a very confident man who strongly believes in one thing that always makes him move forward: leaving the past behind for good and enjoy life. But one day, the day that will come very soon, the past will knock on his door to deliver one of the most shocking gifts he could ever imagine to receive. The gift that will poison his mind and will never make him forget about it for the rest of his life… of course, if he’s lucky enough to live long. But don’t you worry about anything… Joel Edgerton will make sure that you as a viewer receive your gift too… leaving the theater with full satisfaction as a reward for seeing his nail-biting psychological thriller where the past and present will declare war on each other without taking a single hostage….

The Gift, written and directed by Joel Edgerton, begins ideally. We find both Simon and Robyn moving into a new house where they finally decide to build their own family. There’s nothing unusual about our heroes. They do groceries, explore local market, and have a party with their new friends. One fine day Simon meets Gordon, who used to go to the same school as Simon. He seems to feel very ‘appreciative’ and ‘grateful’ of Simon and tries to show it from his action. However, soon we find out that Gordon is an unsuccessful version of Simon, who carries a dangerous plan in his mind. Gordon starts sending one gift after another until the moment when Robyn and Simon decide to ask the annoying man to leave them alone. Of course, Gordon disagrees with their request and continues pushing the ideal family psychologically, breaking it from inside. And soon Gordon sends another gift which is going to break Simon so hard that that he will find it hard to recover from it….

Joel Edgerton’s The Gift is made in the best film-noir style. The only thing that was missing in order to consider it pure perfection is it not being shot in black-and-white format. Right from the opening scene the viewer starts feeling the growing intensity, even though there is not a single violent scene presented in the film.  Surprising, isn’t it? However, Joel Edgerton did not really need any distraction in order to keep the viewer busy. Every time when you more from one scene to another, you most likely will find yourself biting your nails. After all, what else could you do, when you’re left alone with the unpredictable, cleverly written story with so many twists and turns. At some point, you will simply give up and let Edgerton’s brilliant and imaginative mind lead you to any direction you wish, because you as a viewer won’t have any control over it.

In conclusion, The Gift is a movie you did not expect to see this summer. It’s a well-crafted psychological thriller with convincing performances from Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, while Joel Edgerton leaves the juicy role for himself to handle it the way he envisioned. In the end, the only thing that will come to your mind is that past will always find a way to hunt you down… So if you received a gift in front of your door, don’t unwrap it and send it back for your own safety….

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