The Gift (2015)
Director & Writer: Joel Edgerton
Stars: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton
One day, I saw the DVD cover for this film and thought ‘hey, that looks interesting’, and based on what I read on the back, I decided that one day I would get myself a copy and watch it. Jump to about a year later, and I did.
Can I return to sender? Me no like it…
Going by the standard structure of a film, the first ten minutes or so shows the every-day normality of the characters’ lives, after which there is an event that changes things. Well, I was bored by the ten-minute mark, and the life-changing event had supposedly happened by then. I wasn’t shaken up, I wasn’t going ‘ooh, this is getting good’, I was yawning and getting ready to abandon the so-called adventure. But I decided to give it a chance, thinking there would be some huge reveal later on.
I’m still waiting.
Spoiler alert – Apparently, main character guy (Jason Bateman) lied about something. But the truth was never revealed. So some guy (the flippin’ writer!) tries to get revenge on him for lying about him when they were teenagers? And goes about it by giving him koi fish and a baby carrier? Get a grip!
As sad as it is to say, this was not great story-telling. I was not engaged. I did not root for any of the characters (except the dog, darnit that dog was cute). And I certainly did not feel that I had experienced anything other than annoyance at the fact that some truth was hidden in there and I just couldn’t see it.
“Just because you’re done with the past doesn’t mean the past is done with you” – tagline
Yeah, it does.