Director: Joel Edgerton
Cast: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray Combo Pack & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
The Gift asks the question, “Can you really go through life having never wronged anyone?” Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a young married couple whose life is going as planned until a chance run-in with Simon’s high-school acquaintance sends their world into a narrowing tailspin. At first Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo (Joel Edgerton), but after a series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years. As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she is forced to contemplate: how well we really know those closest to us, and are bygones ever really bygones?
Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Hall) have just relocated and moved into a new home in an attempt to try and get a fresh start on many aspects of their life. Upon their arrival they come into contact with a somewhat odd but generally friendly man named Gordo (Edgerton) who attended school with Simon, the two not having seen each other since. Initially hesitant regarding his intentions when Gordo repeatedly appears at their home in addition to some other slightly odd behavior, Simon and Robyn relent and try to give him a chance, although Simon’s reluctance to accept the man begins to lead to more troubling interactions all going back to events that occurred while they were still in high school.
Not only does Joel Edgerton do an impressive job as director, guiding his own beautiful and eerie script with grace, he also delivers an exceptional performance in one of the key roles in ‘The Gift’, calm and unsettling in his portrayal of Gordo. Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall who comprise the remainder of the main cast also deliver outstanding performances in each of their respective roles; Bateman providing a powerful and riveting performance here with a real chance to show off some of his true talent.
‘The Gift’ is a unique and powerful thriller, maintaining a calm and gentle demeanor while an unsettling aura feels as if it’s constantly looming just above the surface. The film owes a great deal to the outstanding performances from its three key actors (without whom this film certainly could have been a tremendous mess) and a thought provoking and uneasy story that never veers into violent or bloody territory yet has no trouble keeping the vibe unsettling throughout. Overall, I would highly recommend checking ‘The Gift’ out, anyone who enjoys a well crafted thriller will not want to miss out on this one and it’s definitely worth the cost of a rental at the very least.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Gift’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding, delivering a detailed, sharp and gorgeous presentation throughout, holding up impressively even during the darkly lit sequences which are quite common in the film, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is an impressive high definition video presentation that should easily please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds solid and holds up in every way required, providing a clean, sharp and generally tame audio presentation, utilizing all five available channels on rare occasions to surround the viewer with the score or to simplify amplify the effect of certain sequences, never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously with other auditory elements to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Gift’ includes a number of enjoyable extras. Included on the release is an Audio Commentary track with Writer/Director/Actor Joel Edgerton. Also included is an Alternate Ending with an optional introduction by Joel Edgerton (running approximately 7 minutes in length), along with a number of Deleted Scenes which also feature optional introductions by Edgerton (approximately 12 minutes altogether). We are additionally treated to a couple of short Behind the Scenes Featurettes which include interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, they include ‘Karma For Bullies’(running approximately 2 minutes), and ‘The Darker Side of Jason Bateman’ (approximately 1 minute). Two Trailers for the film are also included.