Gifted – Motion Picture Maniac
I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve often had trouble understanding some critics when a film gets them so riled up, they just hated it so much, worst movie ever, no redeeming qualities at all, and you become desperate to know why? You read on, or listen on depending on the kind of review it is until you finally get to the reason and there’s… just… one, forgetting there are hundreds of things to like and dislike about a film, directing, story, narrative, editing, tone, functionality, style, cinematography, dialogue, themes, messages, so on and so on, it can all be dwindled down to “this movie sucks because oh, that one thing that lasts five seconds wouldn’t happen like that in real life” and that’s just one example I’ve actually heard someone say, should be grateful I guess, nowadays you’re lucky if someone can name an issue beyond “I dunno, it just sucks”. That kind of thing really drives me up the wall and I feel the need to bring up so I can justify the primary reason I’m not all that keen on Gifted.
Chris Evans plays the uncle to a 7-year-old girl who has extraordinary mathematical abilities, she is without a father and her mother committed suicide when she was one so Evans acts as her guardian, the legality of which is left suspiciously open destined for consequences some time in the future. Especially after Evans’ estranged mother comes along and tries to take the girl off him so she can help her achieve her full potential; something Evans wants to avoid in order to give the girl an actual life not crowded with Maths tutors and famous unsolved equations simply because she can so she should. The trailer made me scoff at Evans’ character’s motivation as it came off as very silly (“I promised my sister I’d give her a normal life” – What? You’re not gonna let her use a rare gift because it’s “not normal”? Get outta town!) but in the actual movie it does make more sense so my bad.
However, I found this movie to be unbearably sappy, cheesy, hammy, schmaltzy and sickly – a list of problems, yes, but they can all be attributed to one thing, the music. If this movie did not have the music that it had, I may have actually enjoyed it, there’s plenty to like about the script, even if there is some annoyingly noticeable dialogue that has also been in every movie before this one, the cinematography may be rather plain but it’s functional and not always uninteresting and the acting was alright, but the music, that damn music. It’s the kind of music that won’t rest until it’s absolutely certain you’re feeling what you’re supposed to be feeling, it just doesn’t stop, and scenes without music come too late to save you because the unwatchable damage has already been done. I feel I should say I don’t hate this movie, there were some things I liked, but the overly happy and vomit inducing music that’s just so paranoid you might not be getting it completely ruined it for me.
That’s why I felt the need to include the first paragraph, I know how weird it sounds to say I disliked it just because of the music, a singular aspect among hundreds of others to consider, and I want to own up to the possibility that I may be the one at fault here, but sappy music that never really feels like it shuts up is a real pet peeve of mine. It plays and plays and plays, stopping only when the damage is irreparable and preventing the drama from speaking for itself. Now, I admit, there were good things in this film, but the primary fault was so relentless, so impossible to ignore and lacking in the faith that maybe the audience know when they’re supposed to think something’s cute, that I just cannot say I enjoyed the film overall, the music completely spoiled it.
Speaking of things we’re supposed to find cute, my God, there’s a scene that was also in the trailer in which the girl is presented with an equation and fails to solve it as it was deliberately flawed to see if she would notice the mistakes and correct them, she does not say anything about the mistakes though and is dismissed, only to then mention she knew it was a badly drawn equation and proves to everyone that she is in fact a Maths genius by correcting every mistake and completing the equation. This is the part that annoyed me, when asked why she didn’t mention the mistakes, she said it’s not polite to correct older people, the professor finds this cute and funny and we are meant to too, but I just thought oh well done society, a child prodigy almost went unnoticed because correcting idiots is considered rude because it might damage there enormous egos, well done indeed.
So yeah, I have a personal problem with Gifted, that kind of music just annoys the living hell out of me and I cannot say I liked it because I didn’t, but that doesn’t mean everyone else will have the same experience as me so hey, you never know, but for the record I found it way too schmaltzy to an agonizing degree, it made me want to vomit.