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The Dose: ‘The Gift’ is a weird gem of a film

The Dose: ‘The Gift’ is a weird gem of a film

The Dose: ‘The Gift’ is a weird gem of a film
September 03
13:34 2015

Harrison Long | Editorial Writer

@HarrisonGLong

What made “The Gift” a delight from the start is the Hitchcock-style vibe given off the moment the characters are introduced. Seeing the two main characters, Simon and Robyn, as they are shown what will inevitably become their new home is unsettling. The massive floor-to-ceiling windows, while beautiful in the daytime, are a recipe for disaster come nightfall. Don’t they know how easy it is to peek into their home from the outside?

Time passes, and the two settle in nicely. We see them out shopping one day when Simon, played by Jason Bateman, runs into an old acquaintance from high school, Joel Edgerton’s Gordo.

We remain cautious as Gordo painfully attempts to reconnect with Simon and his wife, played by Rebecca Hall. Their interactions are awkward and forced, and we know it’s only a matter of time before the levee will break. Gordo remains firm in his commitment to be Simon’s friend, and details slowly come to light. There was an incident. Gordo switched schools. Simon was known as a bit of a bully. These revelations, accompanied by the grimace-inducing gift-giving by Gordo, makes for a compelling first half of the film. Unfortunately, as the first hour nears, it becomes obvious that Edgerton, who wrote, directed and starred in the film, decided to get clever and throw us off the scent of the twists and turns in the latter half of the film­. Some of storylines work, some of them do not.

When it comes to films like ‘The Gift’, suffice to say that Hitchcock, some sixty years ago, set up a formula that works. Those in the position to make another Vertigo, North By Northwest or Rear Window simply refuse to use it. This would be understandable if the writers and directors of Hollywood wanted to be original instead of their own Hitchcock.

While the film is not a total let down, and worth viewing at least once, the ending is bizarre. It leaves us asking more questions and with a bad taste in our mouth. We don’t really give a damn about any of the characters, and we’re glad to let them figure out the twisted world they now inhabit.

Featured Image: Courtesy | STX Entertainment

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