A stunning thriller
Director: Joel Edgerton Featuring: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton It’s hard to write a review about The Gift without giving away deliciously tense pieces of the plot. Suffice it to say that debut director Joel Edgerton has delivered a psychological thriller so tightly wrought and charged with foreboding that I found it hard to sit still while watching it.
Briefly, the story line follows couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall), who have just moved into a new house. After they run into Gordo (Edgerton), one of Simon’s old school acquaintances, Gordo’s overzealous enthusiasm to start a friendship turns menacing when the couple don’t return his advances.
Something happened between Simon and Gordo in high school, and it wasn’t good. This film is as much an unsettling look at the long-term effects of bullying (which really should be called something more accurate, such as school harassment) and today’s win-at-allcosts culture that makes it okay to beat down the weak to get ahead.
Bateman is superb in his role as, well, an arsehole, and Edgerton’s subtle portrayal of a quietly off kilter outsider about to snap is masterful. You are always unsure of who to root for, and the final twist is like a blow to the head. – Grethe Koen
ONE-SIDED FRIENDSHIPS Joel Edgerton is suitably off kilter in this stunning psychological thriller