Working within a very small canvas, tyro helmer William Wedig and co-scripter/star Manny Perez shape “Forged” as an intense but familiar story of a criminal, released from prison after killing his wife, whose past comes back to haunt him, in the form of tenacious old gangmates and a vengeful young son. Shot against bleak Scranton, Pa., winterscapes and peopled exclusively with deadbeats and thugs, the characters prove as limited in their options as in their worldview. Released as part of the Maya Entertainment series, pic could score on cable.
Chuco’s (Perez) dreams of going straight are scotched by the expectations of his Machiavellian former boss (Jaime Tirelli) and the latter’s double-crossing henchman (Kevin Breznahan). Meanwhile, Chuco’s teenage son (David Castro), hustling for a living and sleeping in an abandoned railroad car, is visited by nightmarish flashbacks of his mother’s murder. Perez, frighteningly convincing as a man ruled by desperation, dimly wrestles with the concept of fatherhood. The film’s powerful ending builds kinetically, but this 77-minute exercise ultimately feels truncated; with no hint of a larger context, “Forged” plays like a single impressive chunk of a more complex picture.