Warning: Spoilers for The Gift are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, and you totally should, please bookmark this page and wait until you’ve seen it before reading. Unless spoilers are your thing, in which case have at it.
With all of the makings of a sleeper end-of-summer hit, Joel Edgerton’s The Gift had a pretty good second week at the box office. Part of that is probably because of strong word of mouth, but a huge portion of its success should be attributed to Edgerton’s darkly beautiful efforts not only as a co-star of the film, but also as a writer and first time director of a film that explores bullying in a truly Hitchcockian fashion – right down to the devastating ending that clouds the film’s events in a shroud of ambiguity.
The Gift’s ending drops a huge question as to whether or not the baby born to Jason Bateman’s Simon and Rebecca Hall’s Robyn was fathered by Robyn’s husband, or by her would-be rapist, Gordo (Edgerton). While we’re shown extremely compelling evidence in favor of Gordo's possible status as the father, there are clues spread throughout the film’s narrative that suggest that the stalker is merely screwing with Simon’s head – as retribution for the rumors Simon had circulated years prior which lead to his many hardships. So who’s the baby daddy, and who’s gonna be mad? Prepare to unwrap the truth with us, as we open The Gift’s biggest mystery.
Scenario 1: It’s Gordo’s BabyThe case for Gordo’s surprise foray into fatherhood is what the film leans very heavily on in its third act, so let’s first break down the scenario that proves that he did the deed. In the gift package left for Simon as he returns home from the hospital, there are three items: a key to the house; an audio recording of Simon and Robyn’s conversation in Gordo’s "home," which lays out his supposed plan to steal Simon’s wife and get her pregnant; and the video recording of Gordo’s intrusion.
While Robyn was indeed drugged, and the footage shows Gordo entering the home – clad in a monkey mask, just to scare Simon even more – entering the house and climbing on top of Simon’s unconscious wife, the footage cuts out before any sort of sexual activity can occur. This leaves a lot of doubt in the case for Gordo’s parentage for the young one born in The Gift’s third act. However, if context clues are to be weighed as evidence, then Gordo’s conversation with Robyn could be the smoking gun, as he tells her "good things happen to good people."
If Gordo is as much of a creeper as Simon believes he is, then this line is meant to be an admission of guilt, and proof beyond reproach that Gordo took Robyn in an unconscious state and gave her the "gift" she and Simon had been struggling to achieve – that of a newborn child. But taking a look into Gordo’s character, another narrative begins to unravel throughout the entire film’s central mystery. Let's explore the alternatives.