With the summer flood of films about to dry up, The Gift is one of the last thrillers to close the season with Jason Bateman being the star playing Simon Callen.
Simon has just moved his wife to his old hometown in California after accepting a new promising job offer. His wife titled Robyn Callen (Rebecca Hall). Robyn is making a new life for herself in hopes of leaving past troubles in the rear view mirror. Simon is excited about the new move and future endeavors while his wife seems to be on the same wavelength but not to the same extent.
From the outside looking in, the couple seems to model the American Dream. They seem happily married, are in hopes of starting a family, have a beautiful new home on the horizon, and yes, of course Simon’s new aspiring career is set to fully open its sails. Little does the couple know that they will come face to face with hidden skeletons as the closet door hiding those secrets has become slightly ajar. Opening that door comes Gordon Mosely, a former bullied classmate of Simon’s when they were in high school together.
Gordon is well played by Joel Edgerton, the writer and director of The Gift. Gordon is teasingly titled “Gordo,” by classmates. He is a quiet, unassuming, and believably pleasant individual. He does comes across as a bit creepy but just enough not to set off any reasonable need to set off any alarms. One day as the Callen’s are out and about in search of items to furnish their beautiful new home, they happen to run into Gordon. After the brief meet and greet reunion all seems good and well. Life goes on full speed ahead as the process of moving in is still in the works. That is until Gordon enters himself back into the picture by leaving them a welcoming gift on their front stoop. Although a kind “run of the mill,” neighborly gesture, the gift comes across as an unexpected and a bit peculiar. Why peculiar? Well Gordon is not a neighbor, and also to the fact that he somehow has searched out where they live without them relinquishing the location of their home. Gordo’s gifts keep coming along with unexpected visits putting Robyn and Simon at odds over the true meaning behind these mysterious acts of kindness.
As the gifts and meaning of the pop up visits become unwrapped the truth begins to rear its ugly head. Now there are questions in need of straight answers and mysteries that definitely need to unfold. Now, everyone has to take a close look at themselves as the past has now become so very prevalent in their present everyday lives. The Gift is a delivery that should be received by box office patrons.
The suspense and drama come in frequent doses but definitely not at a torrid pace. The acting performances as a whole are portrayed affectively on screen. Although an alternate ending would have served The Gift well in my viewpoint, it may have been enough for some viewers, but I was left just a bit thirsty for closure.
Until next time, L.B. Reel.
Written by: Joel Edgerton
Directed by: Joel Edgerton
Production: Blumhouse Productions
Running time: 108 minutes