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Forfeit (DVD Review)

12 Oct, 2008 By: Matt Miller


Street 10/21/08
$24.95 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for language.
Stars Billy Burke, Sherry Stringfield, Gregory Itzin, Wayne Knight.

It’s easy to dismiss Forfeit as a convoluted, low-budget heist film. But if you stick with it, what unfolds is a diabolical psychological thriller about one man’s obsession with avenging all those he believes have wronged him, especially his ex-girlfriend.

Having disappeared for many years after the accidental murder of his abusive father, Frank (Burke) returns to the seedy side of Los Angeles, where he finds a job working for a corrupt armored car company while desperately trying to reunite with his long-lost love, Karen (Stringfield).

On the outside, it looks like Frank has transformed from a thug into a well-mannered, God-fearing man seeking a fresh start on life. But in reality, Frank is a hate-filled, greedy psychopath whose paranoia is being fueled by an imaginary relationship he has developed with a TV evangelist (Itzin) who he watches obsessively.

Following cues from the preacher, Frank quickly loses touch with reality and decides to concoct a deadly, elaborate plan to rob the armored-car company, fake his own death and pin it all on Karen — all in an effort to punish her for taking away their unplanned child.

Forfeit is the third feature-length film from award-winning director Andrew Shea (Santa Fe, The Corndog Man), and proves to be his most profound, as the film delves into the dangers of religious zealotry. The film features an exceptional cast led by Burke (Fracture) and Stringfield (“ER”), with other recognizable faces such as Wayne Knight (”Seinfeld”) and veteran TV star John Aylward (“ER,” “The West Wing”).

But it’s really Burke’s intensity that makes the film such a dark, riveting thriller. Forfeit has been shown at film festivals around the country, but the nature of the film actually lends itself better to watching it in a more intimate setting like home.

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