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RELEASED: 1992, Cert.18
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 112 mins
DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Neil Jordan
PRODUCER: Stephen Woolley
MUSIC: Anne Dudley
Stephen Rea as Fergus/Jimmy
Forest Whitaker as Jody
Jaye Davidson as Dil
Miranda Richardson as Jude
Adrian Dunbar as Maguire
FILM ONLY REVIEW
When a small group of IRA terrorists lures English soldier Jody into a trap and captures him, Fergus, who is put in charge of guarding him, strikes up a sort of a forbidden friendship with the prisoner. However, the day comes when Jody must be shot and the job falls onto Fergus. Jody manages to escape, but is killed when he accidentally walks into the path of a British army tank.
The British troops then invade the remote cottage premises the IRA group are hiding out in, yet Fergus manages to escape and makes his way to London with the aim of finding Jody's girlfriend in order to look after her, as had been Jody's final request.
Once in London, Fergus changes his name to James and tracks down Dil, Jody's girlfriend, who works as a hairdresser and socialises at a sleazy club.
Things then take a dramatic and unexpected path of twists and turns for Fergus/Jimmy as he becomes more embroiled in Dil's unconventional world, and....the unfinished business he left behind in Ireland returns to haunt him.
That sets the plot loosely...to learn more, I suggest you watch this intriguing film for yourself.
The Crying Game, which I watched for the first time very recently, took me completely by surprise. I'd never heard or read anything about it, and the opening scene which involves Jody and Jude having fun in a fairground...although it caught my attention due to the way it is presented...didn't prepare me at all for what was to happen next, and for me that is a good thing as I love a strong element of the unexpected.
I found myself being deeply drawn into this film right from the start and can honestly say that my attention didn't waver for even one nano-second throughout, right up until the closing credits.
There is a strong contrast present, that being between the cold-blooded viciousness of Fergus/Jimmy's IRA colleagues, yet with he himself showing in a laid-back way that he had a heart, although when necessary, could force himself to be equally callous.
Then the surprises arrive once Fergus/Jimmy settles in London and befriends Jody's girlfriend, Dil. I must admit that I did anticipate and guess what the big twist would be fairly early on in the film, but such didn't spoil any of my enjoyment.
Everybody acted their parts superbly, but my own personal favourite is the beautiful, gorgeous Stephen Rea (well he was beautiful and gorgeous then) as Fergus/Jimmy. I loved his accent, loved his quiet demeanour and what at root turns out to be a nature that overall is kinder than that possessed by his IRA colleagues, and I feel he played this part with a depth and sensitivity that had me totally transfixed.
At first, I was a bit unsure about Jaye Davidson's portrayal of oddball Dil, but as the film progressed, I feel his acting abilities came to the fore, equally matching Stephen Rea's outstandingly beautiful performance. The pair worked so very well together, making perfection of two roles which quite possibly could have been pretty difficult to throw themselves into.
The Crying Game did tug at my heart strings a bit here and there, but not in a sloppy, sentimental way, as the whole film is presented intelligently in a matter-of-fact, down-to-earth what you see is what you get way.....and, I did smile a little smile at one or two points which were not hysterically funny, but borderline wryly amusing.
I would find it difficult to understand where anyone is coming from who hasn't been captivated by this thriller/drama which is so very well put together and brilliantly acted, containing not one single dull moment. There is some violence in The Crying Game which could be considered at least moderately disturbing, due to the realistic way it is presented and it being pretty much hands-on. Also the film does contain quite a lot of swearing in the dialogue, but that isn't a problem for me so long as it's not done just for the sake of it - in this instance, it perfectly enhances the sense of realism.
I really want to watch The Crying Game again as although I was riveted to the screen from start to finish, I am left with a feeling that there is perhaps more to it than meets the eye on first viewing. I somehow don't think it will be long before I treat myself to a repeat performance of what honestly is one of the very best films I've ever seen.
As a final thought and perhaps somewhat of an aside, it interested me to see that quite a few of the cast members (such as Stephen Rea and Jim Broadbent, whose role was relatively minor in this instance) are actors which the great Mike Leigh regularly uses in his own plays and films....he always chooses the cream of the crop. I believe I am accurately assuming that Mike Leigh had absolutely nothing at all to do with any of the creation of The Crying Game, but it is a film which isn't dissimilar to much of his own work.
My outright recommendation to those who've not seen The Crying Game is...watch it !!!
At the time of writing, The Crying Game can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £2.73 to £9.97
Used: from 79p to £8.23
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
The Crying Game is a British film released in 1992 which was written and directed by Neil Jordan. The film revolves around Fergus (played by Stephen Rea) , a member of the Irish Republican Army who is complicit in the kidnapping of English soldier Jody (Forest Whitaker). Fergus forms a friendly relationship with his prisoner, who eventually is killed trying to escape. When British troops raid the IRA safe house, Fergus escapes to England to find Jody's girlfriend Dil (Jaye Davidson) who he promised Jody he would look after. Fergus tries to start a new life for himself, whilst finding himself captivated by the alluring Dil, and it is not long before his old life comes back to haunt him.
Almost everyone who has ever heard of The Crying Game will know the plot twist which occurs in the last half of the film, as it's one of the most famous twists and worst kept secrets in film history. I watched the film a few weeks ago knowing exactly what the twist was, and although I won't reveal it here it still had tremendous shock value and entirely subverts the film, turning it into something entirely different. The acting in this film is excellent, particularly by Rea and Davidson who were both Oscar-nominated for their roles. the tension between them is consistent throughout the film and they both give sensitive, moving performances. The tone of the film changes dramatically throughout, beginning like an action thriller before turning into a romantic drama and building to a thrilling climax, yet this change happens seamlessly and naturally so that the film does not seem disjointed.
In conclusion, I think the Crying Game is an excellent film with an engrossing story and fantastic acting. There are moments of great levity and humour, yet is atmospheric and dark in many parts. It explores racial, sexual and political issues and will captivate you from the start until the very end. I recommend this film to anyone who has not yet seen it.
"The frog cries out, 'Why did you sting me, Mr. Scorpion? For now we both will drown!' Scorpion replies, 'I can't help it. It's in my nature!'"
Sometimes a twist in a movie throws such a curve-ball that it's difficult to describe it in a review without giving too much away to the reader.
This is the case with The Crying Game. The first half of the plot is set in Northern Ireland and follows the kidnapping of British Soldier Jody (Forest Whitaker) by a small band of IRA terrorists including Maguire (Adrian Dunbar), Jude (Miranda Richardson) and Fergus (Stephen Rea).
Jody spends most of his time as a captive under the guard of Fergus and an unlikely and ill-advised rapport quickly develops between the two men. Jody urges Fergus to go to London when he is dead, which he is sure will be sooner rather than later, and find Dil (Jaye Davidson), the love of his life.
Sure enough, Fergus finds himself tracking down the mysterious and beautiful Dil, who he finds working in a Salon. Dil is a singer in a local bar and her vulnerability is displayed when performing "The Crying Game", a lament to her lost love, the only man who ever had any feelings for her.
In Fergus, she sees another "gentleman"; a kindred spirit to her lost love Jody. Predictably enough, Fergus and Dil quickly become romantically involved. Fergus chooses not to reveal his own identity and connection to Jodie. However, he is not the only one with secrets.
The former terrorist tries to fashion a new life for himself in London but has been unable to dispel the ghosts of his past and, when his former gang members turn up on the scene, finds out exactly how far he is prepared to go for love, honour and loyalty.
All this sounds pretty standard fare, however somewhere in the middle comes the twist, which throws the film upside down and alters its whole dynamic particularly in the complex relationship between Fergus and Dil. I am informed that this twist is pretty much the worst kept secret in movie history, but it came completely and shockingly out of the blue for me. I have to say, I was drawn in hook, line, sinker and copy of Anglers Times.
The Crying Game is an intriguing film hiding, initially at least, behind a simple façade. It explores themes of love, friendship, politics, sexuality and human nature in a brave and original way, particularly for the time (1992). Viewers will be left wondering more than once what they would have done themselves in certain circumstances.
The acting is of a reasonable quality. Whitaker leaves a shadow over the film long after he disappears from the scene. His English accent may not always be the best, but the powerful influence he has on the film cannot be denied. His character is hugely likeable and charismatic. His friendship with Fergus is a highlight of the movie, and could have formed the basis of a film in its own right.
Newcomer Jaye Davidson is superb. Seductive, vulnerable yet fiercely independent, the character of Dil is superbly drawn out, as it has to be to make the twist convincing and as shocking as intended.
Adrian Dunbar does an adequate job as the terrorist. His character seems to be without motivation or conviction as a terrorist and certainly elicits some sympathy from the audience. His understated style however occasionally jars with the film and, for me, he fails to adequately convey the emotional turmoil his character must be facing.
Neil Jordan's direction of the film occasionally feels clunky, and doesn't always seem to flow as it should as he tries to weave different strands and elements together. Although not overly complex and never actually difficult for the viewer to follow, the film doesn't actually hang together particularly well. There are a couple of obviously contrived scenes and events to enable the movie to fit together which don't really work.
At 110 minutes, the film seems longer than it is and it certainly isn't always as gripping as it should be. A strong script and the decent performances carry the film at times. The superb soundtrack also helps to cover the film's deficiencies.
The film was shot on a shoestring budget, although to the credit of the cast and crew, this isn't really to its detriment. There are few special effects, and much of the action is dialogue led. The only downfall from this aspect is a couple of bizarre and slightly embarrassing dream-sequences, in which Whitaker in his cricket whites resemble a model advertising for Persil.
Overall, this isn't a film that would appeal to everyone, and certainly won't be on my Christmas list. It is, however, an originally conceived film that explores interesting themes far away from the Hollywood norm. Whilst it's difficult not to be vague when reviewing it to prevent spoilers, it is a film I'd recommend as worth a watch for real film fans who haven't seen it, or maybe someone who's just a little bit fed up of the tired Hollywood explosions and action sequences.
The film is described as a thriller. I can't see why. Although it starts life as a psychological-thriller it morphs quickly into drama-romance with a twist, the IRA connections really only a sub-plot to the human emotion on display. Interesting to watch on a number of levels, not least an early performance from Forest Whitaker, it's probably worth a watch.
One Oscar win (screenplay) and five nominations
One BAFTA win (British Film) and six nominations
One Golden Globe win (Best Motion Picture - drama)
This is rated 18, which is a fair reflection of its adult content which includes blood, violence, sex and general adult themes.
None, unless you count the trailer. And that's not me being lazy.
About £3 (used) to £5 (new) on Amazon. Though I rented mine from Lovefilm and that's probably the best way to do it because, although I quite enjoyed it, it's not one I'd ever want to watch again.
Thoughtful, enigmatic, but ultimately flawed, The Crying Game is a quirky film which has gained a strong cult following. A couple of far-fetched contrivances in the plot, alongside a strange lack of the required intimacy prevent it being a classic in my eyes. It did, however, receive rave reviews and a host of awards at the time. Maybe I've become numb to proper human dramas by the glitz of Hollywood. Maybe I missed the point. Or maybe it's not *that* great.
note: also appears on Flixster and The Student Room in part
The Crying Game is a superb slice of cult cinema that tells a beautiful love story with a magnificent twist. Sadly the plot twist is probably one of the worst kept secrets in cinema history, but nevertheless, this is a cracking film and one that will really test audiences as well as demonstrate the true bounds of love.
The film opens as the IRA take a soldier hostage. One of the IRA men, Fergus (Stephen Rea), is seemingly not so hot about the whole thing - he sympathsies with the soldier, Jody (Forest Whitaker), and ultimately learns about his life, primarily that he has a girl at home, Dil (Jaye Davidson), who he asks Fergus to look after if anything happens to him. Of course, something DOES happen to Jody, and so Fergus keeps his word, going to visit Dil. What he didn't bank on was falling in love with her, or the maelstrom that would follow - there's more to her than meets the eye, and he must also contend with Jude (Miranda Richardson), the remaining member of the IRA squad who thinks that he has some unfinished business.
Although largely promoted as a thriller, this is at its best a tender romance wrapped in an intriguing political thriller. Performances throughout are stellar, best of all Davidson, whose was Oscar nominated for her complex and unforgettable performance. This is a film that doesn't just deliver its twist for the shock value - it works as an interesting reversal of fortunes that makes us reconsider the labels we place on ourselves. It's stunning cinema, and drama at its very best.
One of the most heartfelt, honest and down-right important love stories of all time. The twist is truly shocking, yet never seems like a gimmick. The arc that Rea's character takes is truly wonderful and I loved the message about acceptance that this film had. A true classic, although it will be too close to the bone for some, unfortunately.
Truly fantastic movie. A tale of an IRA terrorist who becomes involved in the life of one of his captives explores so much beyond the plot (which is fantastic anyway) – issues of identity, belief, and even love. The performances are brilliant from every cast member, especially so for Miranda Richardson, Stephen Rea. Even if you know the secret, you'll still probably be captivated by this film. A triumph for Jordan one of the best movies of the 1990s. But make sure that nobody tells you the secret or you will not cringe like everyone else did in the cinema when I went to see it. Cheers Alex xxxx PS oops I think that i've told you the secret.
The Crying Game offers a rare and precious movie experience. The film is an unclassifiable original that surprises, intrigues, confounds, and delights you with its freshness, humor, and honesty from beginning to end. It starts as a psychological thriller, as IRA foot soldier Fergus (the incomparable Stephen Rea) kidnaps a British soldier (Forest Whitaker) and waits for the news that will determine whether he executes his victim or sets him free. As the night wears on, a peculiar bond begins to form between the two men. Later, the movie shifts tone and morphs into something of a romantic comedy as Fergus unexpectedly becomes involved with the soldier's girlfriend Dil (Jaye Davidson) and discovers more about himself, and human nature in general, than he ever dreamed possible. Like Spielberg's E.T. , The Crying Game was supposed to be director Neil Jordan's "little, personal movie," the one he just had to make, even though no studio was willing to give him money because the story was so unusual. Instead, it became a surprise popular sensation, thanks in part to Miramax's cleverly provocative campaign playing up the hush-hush nature of the movie's big secret. The performances (including Miranda Richardson as one of Fergus's IRA colleagues) are subtly shaded, and the writing and direction are tantalizingly rich and suggestive; you're always trying to figure out the characters' true motives and feelings--even when they themselves are fully aware of their own motives and feelings. The Crying Game is a wise, witty, wondrous treasure of a movie. Director Jordan's credits include Mona Lisa, Interview with the Vampire, Michael Collins, and The Butcher Boy. --Jim Emerson