By Quentin Basnaw
The adage goes: “treat others the way you want to be treated.” It seems simple enough. The implied meaning has always boiled down to “be nice to others, they’ll be nice to you.” Of course you could go through your life being a jerk to others, and they’ll more than likely be a jerk to you. The Gift explores this concept, and a few others, in a fantastic thriller.
Written and directed by Joel Edgerton, the film stars Jason Bateman (Identity Thief, Horrible Bosses), Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3) and Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby). In an odd twist on this thriller/drama, Jason Bateman gives an awesome non-comedic performance. He is a fine actor, and here he portrays Simon, a man whose life is going great. That is, until someone from his past appears with a “gift.” Rebecca Hall triumphs as Simon’s wife, who has her own past that is brought to life. To top off this tour de force trifecta, we have Joel Edgerton: wow. He committed to the role of Gordon AKA “Gordo”, a man with a backstory that leaves him socially inept. He starts leaving gifts for his old high school pal, Simon.
This movie isn’t that old; in fact, it came out last year. It was released to strong praise and a stronger weekend (it released the same weekend as Fantastic Four). The praise is not undeserved. This is a solid, tension-filled movie. It is excellently acted, superbly shot, and its pacing is spot on. The story unravels and gives you great character interactions that reveal the quirks and underlying goals of said characters that have you guessing until the end. Grab some popcorn and take a look for yourself.