“The Gift” Is Non-Returnable
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Are there any old high school chums you’d just as soon forget? You know, some old acquaintance you don’t want popping up in the middle of your nice quiet life to remind you of your shortcomings
That’s the plot of “The Gift,” a psychological thriller that’s raising goosebumps at the Tropic Cinema.
Simon and his wife Kate (Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall) are doing just fine, thank you very much, before Gordo the Weirdo (Joel Edgerton) shows up. The guy’s like chewing gum on the bottom of your shoe, impossible to get rid of. He keeps dropping by to give them gifts.
But something’s not right. Gordo’s stories don’t quite hold together. He’s a little off. Simon mocks him to Kate, then breaks off this renewed contact.
Yet Gordo seems to be lingering in the background. Kate is convinced he’s coming into their home in secret. She suspects him when her koi fish die and the family dog goes missing.
So Kate begins looking into Gordo’s past, talking to his old high school classmates. In the process, she discovers some disturbing things about her own husband. Is he not the man she thought he was? Did he deliberately fabricate lies about Gordo? Did he lie to get a new promotion? Is he the father she wants for the baby she’s expecting?
Or is Gordo a master of revenge, a clever manipulator out to even the score for old not-forgotten wrongs?
Or is Kate, still fragile from a previous miscarriage, simply letting her imagination run away with her? Delusional or paranoid?
My gift to you: I’m not telling.
But as Gordo says, “You may be done with the past, but the past isn’t done with you.”