A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: Joel Edgerton
Produced By: Jason Blum, Joel Edgerton, Rebecca Yeldham
Written By: Joel Edgerton
Starring: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton
Running Time: 108 Minutes
The evolution of Joel Edgerton has been highly impressive, and it was only a matter of time before the supremely talented actor transitioned into the directing and joined the esteemed league of actors-turned-directors alike.
His debut feature The Gift sees him write, produce, direct and star in one of 2015’s most chilling thrillers that is guaranteed to have audiences on the edge of their seats, perhaps even on the theatre floor…
Edgerton supports leads Rebecca Hall and Jason Bateman, who surprisingly looks very comfortable in an otherwise unthinkable role. Bateman and Hall play Simon and Robyn, a couple who have recently moved interstate for Simon’s work.
An afternoon out shopping sees Simon bump into Gordo, a former schoolmate of his. After they catch up and re-familiarise themselves with one another, Simon and Robyn become recipients of mysterious gifts left on their doorstep from the incalculable Gordo.
The Gift utilises a plethora of tropes organic to the thriller genre, however there are several occasions where the film crosses over into suspenseful horror. The way storytelling is handled is not too different to that of a neatly wrapped gift, in the sense that you don’t really know what is truly on the inside until the exterior wrapping is taken away.
Edgerton through his writing has been able to capture elements of love, lust and even hubris within his characters, and through his own performance, he is able to bring forward a clear-cut vision of a suburban nightmare.
The cast is small, which adds to the tension, and to everyone’s credit, performances are faultless across the board. Jason Bateman has certainly developed and demonstrated he isn’t a one-trick comic pony, and it’s exciting to see his serious side.
When watching the film unfold, it’s almost as if the role of Simon was written for Bateman; here’s hoping we get to see more of what we were treated to in The Gift in the near future.
If you’re to see a film in 2015, avoid the slew of reboots, sequels and CGI romps, every now and again you need to treat yourself to a lower-budget, smartly written thriller.
Thankfully, Joel Edgerton has presented us with a lovely little chiller to fright, delight and excite us in the cinema, but has also given us a rather powerful message to individually contemplate on the way home…