Thos who live in glass houses shouldn’t complain of people peeking in. However, you can’t possibly have a Gordon Mosley aka Gordo (Edgerton) around. It is amazing how much creepiness the Australian actor packs into his act of leaving gifts outside the door of that house with its full glass exterior, owned by the happy couple Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Hall).
His cap pulled almost down to his droopy, yet-watchful, eyes, Gordo sneaks almost apologetically up to them at a shopping store, reminds Simon that they were together in school, and then keeps popping up at their home. Where Edgerton, also the writer-director, plots this story of a dangerous obsession differently is in the absolute absence of actual maliciousness. So there are no shouting episodes, or spilled blood of any kind (though a couple of fish die mysteriously), just uneasy silences where it is clear something is just boiling under the surface. A closed gate that Simon and Robyn run into while walking out of a dinner hosted by Gordo is the only real evidence of a threat.
Simon is also going through a tense period in office, angling for promotion in a work place run by a couple of young computer geek millionaires. A miscarriage and Simon and Robyn’s attempts to have a child are another strain on their relationship.
Just when the film appears to be entering familiar territory, Edgerton takes it in another direction. Midway through, very subtly, the shoe shifts to the other foot, with Simon exuding a too-slick shiftiness.
The end perhaps could have been tightened, as Edgerton takes his time establishing the dynamics of a childhood relationship, and then almost rushes through what followed. Still, the film holds true to its two main characters by not making concessions for either, just so to give us a hero and a villain.
Both Edgerton and Bateman put in very good performances in a story that depends entirely on our inability to trust their characters. Hall really has to do little, but fall in.
Star cast: Joel Edgerton, Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall
Director: Joel Edgerton