Chris Evans hangs his Captain America suit in his closet and plays a fatherly figure to a seven-year-old mathematical whiz in Gifted. The drama will undoubtedly be something far removed from what we’ve grown accustomed to Evans portraying especially without his trademark shield. But it also showcases the actor’s talents in portraying a hero of a different sort.
The Story After his sister passes away, Frank Adler (Chris Evans) takes over the role as surrogate parent for his spirited young niece – Mary (McKenna Grace). His plans for a normal school life is foiled when Mary’s teacher discovers her mathematical abilities. It then leads to Frank’s estranged mother, Evelyn threatening to tear up the family by taking Mary away and raising her up as a child genius. Frank however is determined to let his niece have a normal childhood and is willing to do what it takes to fight for what seems right.
What Worked When we are first introduced to Frank and Mary, they just seem like an odd pairing. C’mon, his idea of a “special” breakfast before she headed for her first day of school was Special K cereal. However, as the movie rolls on, you began to learn about the Adler family. The story is riveting and around every corner, they throw in another surprise, keeping you at the edge of your seat. It definitely pulled the heartstrings in the right place and made you feel like cursing at some infuriating parts.
What Didn’t As much as we’d like to love it, the movie is something we might not remember for years to come. Visually, it could have been better. It also felt like everyone one else (besides the few main characters) delivered lackluster performances.
Plus Points Mckenna Grace. This young lady was born for this role. She’s the perfect embodiment of a seven-year-old child, a child genius to be exact. Her childlike mannerisms paired with snarky comments and witty lines made us fall in love with her, over and over again.
Minus Points We didn’t get to learn more about Roberta (Octavia Spencer) and Bonnie (Jenny Slate) who played the neighbour and Mary’s teacher respectively. Who is this strange neighbour that knows so much about Mary and takes her in every Saturday? What about Frank and Bonnie’s relationship? It just felt like two other prominent characters in the movie, besides Evelyn just became someone else in the background.
Conclusion In a world where we’re always feeling pressured to excel in our studies, Gifted a stark reminder of how we might rob someone of their childhood if we force them to grow up too soon.
Review by Stephanie Aeria