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10.10.2015

The Gift - spoiler!

A decent movie about a couple who're haunted/stalked by the husband's former classmate.  It takes a lot of turns; the husband, played by Jason Bateman, initially comes across as stable and discerning, and his classmate, Gordo, as bizarre & perhaps mentally ill.  By the end, let's just say, the husband, or Simon, as he's called, is not such a nice guy, and the viewer has a lot of sympathy for Gordo.

Additionally, we start out really liking the wife Robyn, then at one point discover that in the past she had a drug addiction, and so begin to think she's a bit unstable, then at the end really really really like her, even more than we did at the beginning (or at least we're supposed to).

"You think you're done with the past, but the past is not done with you."  ~A line that Gordo tells Simon, who bullied Gordo in high school and arguably ruined his life.

I guess you'd say that a central theme to the movie is karma, particularly in the negative sense.  At the end we see Simon losing his job on account of lying about past work history, and his wife telling him that she wants to be separated (just minutes after giving birth to their child).

And we also learn that Simon, as a teen, had a mean streak and spread a rumor about Gordo being gay and molested; a rumor that caused Gordo's father to attempt to kill his son and go to jail.

And um, yeah, I guess the screenwriter's making an interesting point about getting what you give.  However I don't buy into the Bateman character actually being so mean.  I actually really like him and the way he so emphatically, at the beginning of the movie, discerns Gordo to be a weirdo and tells him, look, stop stalking us.  And he seems like a nice husband too.  And with his coworkers he seems nice too.  I just didn't ever see the mean streak in him that causes him to lose so much.

I'm not sure that I buy into the rationalization for why he loses his job.  It's a quick phone call in which his boss fires him, having to do with lying about his past work history I think.  It just doesn't seem like someone in such a high-profile position would be fired in a ten second phone call.  Additionally, the fuel that generates the momentum for his firing was an incident at Simon's home in which a jilted employee attacks the house, breaking the glass doors, and then attacks Simon and blames him that he lost his job.  I just don't think that someone who behaved so violently would incur so much sympathy from the company.  Some, perhaps, but probably not enough to make the person who was being attacked lose his job.

I guess that what I mean to say is that it's easy for the screenwriter, Joel Edgerton, to compile a series of events for a character as though to say; see!  a person's past really catches up with him!  But for me, these events just didn't ring true.

Oh, yeah, and apparently Simon's wife gets raped by Gordo without her ever even knowing about it.  Now that too strikes me as a little unbelievable.  I guess that she was unconscious when it happened, however she'd surely notice something, well, different about herself after she regained consciousness, even if it was just that her clothing wasn't put on just the same.

And the last scene, ha, you kind of see Simon wrestling in the angst of his life that's just fallen apart.  It seemed a little dramatic.

Like I said, it was a decent movie, maybe a B/B-ish movie, that actually seems worse and worse the longer I reflect on it.  The part at the very end where Gordo takes off this sling that his arm is in, as though to suggest that he's ultra-brght and calculating, and had been faking the arm injury; well that just seemed cheesy, too.  The kind of scene where the viewer is supposed to think something like 'wow.  what a smart and scary guy' but it just doesn't come off quite right and so I found it laughable.

Well anyway....there.  You have it.

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