Monday, August 6, 2012

The Forger: Movie Review

A beautifully shot story of art in Carmel, California that gets a little lost on its way.

The Forger stars Josh Hutcherson as Joshua, a teenager who was basically born on the wrong side of the tracks but wanders into an upscale community. He’s artistically gifted and this community – Carmel, California – is full of people determined to live the high life even if their honest talents don’t quite get them what they wanted. It has the basic struggles of the haves versus the have-nots and good versus evil. 2012

Directed by: Lawrence Roeck

Screenplay by: Carlos De Los Rios

Starring: Josh Hutcherson, and Hayden Panettiere

The story is good. The set-up is fairly interesting as Josh uncovers each layer of the mystery that the townspeople are up to, and even after all their colours are displayed, it remains interesting as Josh figures out what he wants to do about it. Unfortunately, the worst part of this movie is the screenplay. The dialogue is clunky and the elements connecting the parts of the story together are awkward and cumbersome. A common complaint is how the film decided to weave a girl into the fabric of the story and turned it into a romantic drama.

The girl is Amber (Hayden Panettiere), a beautiful and somewhat independent rich kid. Hutcherson and Panettiere admirably hold down the lead roles of two torn individuals and are given a little bit more to do than just smile (or scowl) at the camera. In fact, the acting is pretty good. The great Lauren Bacall and the underrated Alfred Molina play the main supporting characters, the adults who take in the lost Joshua for better or for worse.

The filmmakers definitely knew the story they wanted to tell as it was distinctively shot on location by the sea in Carmel, California. A number of the shots looked like paintings that our young hero was emulating. The only real problem with The Forger was knowing how to tell the story as the narrative got a little lost and confused as it wandered along the elegant rocky coast.

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