I think I saw the trailer of ‘Gifted’ numerous times, and frankly, it should have appealed to me more, but it didn’t because the trailer seemed like one of those that almost gives the whole movie away – it practically gave away most of the storyline, and it doesn’t take a genius for one to see how it will turn out.
But Chris Evans’ allure won. For him, and just for him, I went to see this and you know what? It wasn’t as bad as thought it would be, and actually it was kind of good. This story has been told a thousand times – gifted kid struggles on having a normal life vs being treated as some kind of machine. But what sets this film is the acting, which makes gives you the feel like you are seeing this story for the first time. Specifically, Chris Evans plays a more down to earth super hero here. As Frank Adler, he has been taking care of his little niece Mary (McKenna Grace) since his sister’s death. We get to learn that Mary comes from a line of geniuses in Mathematics – both his mother and grandmother have shown genius in the field. But he believes that his sister would have wanted a ‘normal’ childhood for Mary, and is hell bent on making that happen. Enter grandmother (Lindsay Duncan) who tells him that the gift cannot be wasted. The director Marc Webb sets up both sides fairly, and the audience gets caught in the tug and pull. Duncans’ Evelyn is just a bit too one-sided so you do pull for Frank, because Evans gives his character an honest and charming performance, the his chemistry with Grace is appealing.
Sometimes all you really need is a good story, even though familiar, to have an engaging film. ‘Gifted’ has one, and is one.