Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Gift - The scoop and digest

Falling under the category of 'same title, different film', Joel Edgerton writes, helps produce and stars in his directorial debut.

Plot details and/or spoilers won't let bygones be bygones.

Dealing with the past:

Jason Bateman - Simon
Rebecca Hall - Robyn
Joel Edgerton - Gordo

Monkey phobic Simon and overworked wife Robyn relocate from Chicago to California to start a family.

While shopping, they bump into Simon's former classmate Gordo who husband claims not to remember.

Gordo begins leaving innocent presents, ranging from wine (always nice) and fish (ideally served with mushy peas).

Dinner party beckons and because Gordo often turns up unannounced, Simon reckons Gordo has become obsessed with Robyn.

Upon return from private phone call, Simon says let's close all comms.

Woof woof Mr. Bojangles goes missing and the finger of blame is predictably pointed at you know who, but without evidence...

Robyn finds sleeping increasingly more difficult and reacquaints with herself with old friend prescription drugs.

Overcome with paranoia of being 'alone', she collapses and as if by magic, wakes the next day in bed.

Meanwhile, Simon scores promotion at work as nearest competitor Danny McDonald misses out.

Shortly after dog turns up unharmed, they receive a letter from Gordo pouring his apologetic heart on paper.

Simon remains coy over what 'bygones' refers to.

Bun is baked inside Robyn's now relaxed oven but despite apparent harmony, the mystery of Gordo's letter still lingers, so wife seeks answers from Simon's sister.

It turns out that along with friend Greg, Simon was a bully and because of chatting shit over an incident regarding molestation and sexuality, his father was arrested for attempted murder.

When challenged, Simon refuses to accept he's done anything wrong.

A hostile, lying sociopath.  Nice personality combination.

Simon agrees to make peace and finds Gordo hosting a pub quiz.

After insincere apology is quickly rejected, Simon attacks a terrified Gordo.

While celebrating promotion, stone, rock or brick (who cares) is thrown through glass door and behind vandalism is Danny, who reveals that Simon purposely stirred up shit over email, leading to his sacking.

Robyn goes into labour and safely delivers child, but Simon loses job and Robyn tells him where to go.

What goes around comes around, and if you'll forgive me - ha fucking ha!

Robyn's hospital room is 237.

Yeah, I'm a geek for noticing a speculative reference to The Shining?

Christopher Smith's 2009 purgatory horror Triangle makes several allusions to Kubrick's seminal 1980 classic.

Shortly after Dufresne's escape in The Shawshank Redemption, Morgan Freeman's cell is audibly announced as 237.

Most have probably forgotten it was 217 in Stephen King's novel.

Anyway...

Licking scheming wounds, Simon finds a large package left on doorstep.

Moses basket comprises of the following goodies.

1. Duplicate house key (self explanatory)
2. CD (audio recording of Simon ripping the piss)
3. DVD (footage of Gordo taking Robyn into bedroom after she fainted).

Did he rape her?

We don't know, as footage abruptly ends.

A battered Gordo visits Robyn and pleasantries are exchanged.

Robyn glares holding baby, Simon slumps to his knees and Gordo walks away - leaving father's identity undisclosed.

So like It Follows, ending is left ambiguous.

Leaving the strong taste of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (is the hand that rules the world), whiffing of Fatal Attraction and exhaling Unlawful Entry, strong performances bolster Edgerton's well put together psychological thriller.

Bateman's metamorphosis from hotshot to principal scumbag, Edgerton's socially awkward oddball and Hall's gradual fragility is testament to character development.

Although rollercoaster driven plot plummets into disappointing cliché, I openly recommend with Gordo's smiley face.

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