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The Gift (2015) – Short Review

The Gift is simply a (spoiler-less) pitch black tale of grudge and latent hatred. It’s a psychological thriller that goes dark and full of satire to effects of bullying—of how it can turn a good man.

With this film, writer/director/actor, Joel Edgerton conveys audiences that there’s a rare bittersweet depiction of cause-and-effect tragedy triggered by teenage delinquency. Like seriously.

The movie itself follows a couple, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall), who moves to a new town, in which they meet a self-proclaimed old acquaintance, Gordo (Edgerton). As a celebration of meeting an old folk, Gordo keeps flooding the couple with gifts; whereas, Simon isn’t quite sure if he knows Gordo enough. 

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As much as it’s predictable and, sometimes, silly, The Gift still quietly paralyzes our nerve as time goes by. Edgerton slowly builds layers through his self-portrayed persona that culminate into a bitter finale. As the tension slowly rising, it breaks with ambiguous climax which actually represents the root of the conflict in a fashion that, I must say, resembles one of the most startling revelation of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy in a more polite way.

The whole setup is unnerving, but what crawls along my bones much is Edgerton’s performance as a character with unpredictable depth to cover his predictable movement ensuring The Gift as a rare psychological thriller that explodes without big explosion.

The Gift (2015)

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Mystery, Thriller Written & Directed by: Joel Edgerton Starred by: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton Runtime: 108 mins Rated R

IMDb | Official Site


Sederhananya, The Gift adalah kisah dendam kesumat dan kebencian laten yang dibungkus dalam thriller psikologis. Sangat gelap dan penuh satir akan akibat bullying—yang tak sebenarnya terbayangkan, tapi tak pernah diceritakan sebelumnya.

Lewat film ini, Joel Edgerton sebagai aktor, sutradara sekaligus penulis naskah, sukses meyakinkan penonton bahwa kisah karma yang dilandasi bullying dan kenakalan remaja memang benar ada.

Filmnya sendiri menceritakan tentang pasangan yang baru saja pindah ke LA, Simon (Jason Bateman) dan Robyn (Rebecca Hall). Di sana, mereka tanpa sengaja bertemu dengan seseorang yang mengaku sebagai teman sekolah Simon, Gordo (Edgerton). Entah dengan berbagai alasan, Gordo mulai menghadiahi Simon dan Robyn dengan berbagai hadiah; padahal, Simon sendiri tidak yakin bahwa ia benar-benar mengenal Gordo.

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The Gift memang mudah ditebak dan kadang konyol, namun tetap saja berhasil diam-diam membuat penonton penasaran dan tidak nyaman. Edgerton pelan-pelan membangun lapisan cerita yang memuncak pada finale-nya yang pahit. Ketika tensi memuncak dan tumpah dalam klimaksnya yang ambigu, The Gift menampilkannya dengan sangat “nasty”—merepresentasikan akar permasalahan film ini dengan gaya a la Oldboy namun lebih sopan. Bukan twistnya, tapi sense yang dimunculkan setelah pengungkapannya.

Setup film ini memang unnerving, tapi yang paling mengena justru penampilan Edgerton dalam memerankan karakter yang kedalamannya tak bisa ditebak—bertolak belakang dengan aksinya yang predictable. Edgerton berhasil menampilkan sebuah thriller psikologis langka yang meledak-ledak tanpa ada ledakan.


Review of The Gift (2015) is written by Paskalis Damar. Review film The Gift ini diterjemahkan ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia oleh Paskalis Damar.

4 thoughts on “The Gift (2015) – Short Review”

    1. Wow! There must be some conspiracy. Lol. It wasn’t that dark for me, but true, I spent hours finding explanation and ended up reading an article saying that Gordo didn’t do anything in a deleted scene. So relieved.

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