The Gift (2015) – Joel Edgerton does a Hitchcock…and then some

(L-R) REBECCA HALL, JASON BATEMAN and JOEL EDGERTON star in THE GIFT
(L-R) REBECCA HALL, JASON BATEMAN and JOEL EDGERTON star in THE GIFT

When was the last time that you saw a psychological thriller so good that you couldn’t stop thinking about it long after the credits had rolled? And, when was the last time that you saw an actor make a transition to directing and become successful at it? Actor Joel Edgerton does exactly that with The Gift. This is a film so unbelievably good that I can recall at most 1 or 2 films that was able to deliver a a similar experience (one of them being The Prestige and the other Prisoners). It’s a Hitchcockian thriller that also doubles as a relationship drama. This is one of those films that is hard to review without spoiling anything so I’ve decided to keep it as short as possible. So, I would simply say that it belongs to the stalker genre, but Edgerton does something completely unexpected with it. He has gone one step further. The narrative is compelling, the characters complex and by the end, you are not quite sure who to root for.

The twists are delicious and I never saw them coming. And the ambiguous ending is sure to keep you talking for a long time. This was one of the rare instances where I went into the film without knowing anything about it beforehand. I didn’t even watch any of the trailers and I hope those who haven’t seen it already, do exactly as I’ve done. (I’ve heard some people say that their experience of the film was ruined by the trailers.) Although I consider Jason Bateman a good actor, I’ve never seen him this good in anything before and Rebecca Hall is terrific as usual. Edgerton’s Gordo is quite a creepy figure but by the end, you can’t help feeling a little sympathetic towards this character. Edgerton has written and directed it with such an unbelievable confidence and skill that even some veteran filmmakers don’t possess. He has done a fantastic job with setting up the mood and the atmosphere and gets you involved with all the characters. I hope he gets to make more films like this in the near future. This is a film that you definitely don’t want to miss. I give it a perfect 5/5.

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