The Gift (2015)

The Gift 2015 Film Poster1.pngA true gift

Director: Joel Edgerton
Running Time: 108 Minutes
Starring: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton

Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Hall) are a married couple who've recently moved to a Los Angeles suburb. Whilst out shopping, they run into Gordo (Edgerton), an acquaintance of Simon's who went both to school together. After a series of uninvited appearances and mysterious gifts, a horrifying secret is brought to light after more than 20 years.

Joel Edgerton has made a name for himself in recent years, playing support to the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale and Tom Hardy. But with just one film, he's established himself as a triple threat. Firstly, Edgerton's direction is brimming with with the confidence of a veteran director. He manages to showcase an underlying tension which reaches critical point during the stunning finale.

Next, he manages to deliver a script that's simultaneously taut and smart. Through the morally gray characters, there manages to be great subversions of what's initially expected, while delivering believable twists and turns. While of this is done, Edgerton tackles the issue of bullying, the themes of consequences from lies, and the idea that some people are incapable of change. It sounds like a lot to take in, but it all works so effortlessly.

Gordo spots a familiar face from his past

It's nigh-impossible to forget the acting on stage here. Edgerton's character of Gordo acts overly friendly, apparent in his keenness to reconnect with his former classmate. Yet he's perfectly unnerving, as you can clearly tell there's a hidden agenda at play here. But it's far from just Edgerton's show. The ever-reliable Jason Bateman is stellar as Simon, a man who's trying to move on from his past, while never truly managing to escape it. Rebecca Hall shows how fantastic an actor she can be, when given the opportunity to portray an actual character.

The Gift is a thrilling debut from Joel Edgerton, showing talent and confidence akin to that of a veteran writer/director. Whatever project Edgerton creates next is highly anticipated.