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|Index||152 reviews in total|
The less you know about this film, the better. I won't tell you anything
except what a well-written and well-acted movie this is. from the first
15 minutes, which is mainly dialogue between two actors, you are
completely drawn in to the film, which has almost dream-like qualities.
If you were planning to see it just because of the "twist" and to see what everyone was talking about, then see it. If you were planning to see it for the amazing script, acting and direction - see it. And if you were planning on not seeing it - see it
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE CRYING GAME / (1992) ***1/2 (out of four)
By Blake French:
I admire Neil Jordan for contributing his vastly original ideas to theater screens, as do I admire the Academy Awards, who appropriately rewarded "The Crying Game" with the best original screenplay Oscar in 1992. The film also earned nominations for best picture, director, leading and supporting actors, and editing. Jordan's style of filmmaking feels consistent over the years. "The Crying Game" offers the usual flavor of Jordan, but also incorporates unexpected, ninety degree twists that change the pace of his story altogether.
"The Crying Game" begins in Northern Ireland, where the IRA takes prisoner a British soldier named Jody (Forest Whitaker). Among the team of committed terrorists is the quiet Fergus (Stephen Rea), and the seductive Jude (Miranda Richardson), who guard Jody in an isolated forest shelter. As Fergus continually watches Jody, the two become begin to like one another. Jody knows that his tragic fate nears, therefore, shows Fergus a photograph of his romantic interest, who lives back in London. He asks Fergus to look her up sometime if he ever gets the chance.
The movie takes a ridged, unexpected turn, and the next time we see Fergus, he is living as a construction worker in London under a new name. He finds the soldier's girlfriend working at a beauty salon. Her name is Dil (Jaye Davidson). Fergus gets a haircut, and follows her to a nearby bar, then the next thing we know the two are deeply in love. But Dil has a secret-and so does Fergus. What would Dil think if she knew her new lover was responsible for her late boyfriend's death?
Stephen Rae is the best thing in the movie, interlocking the several separate plots with a concrete narrative. The film takes his point of view, and does so consistently. This is essential, since we learn information as he does-a classic yet extraordinarily effective method of keeping an audience involved. Here, Jordan celebrates a clean story, but reveals information about certain characters that change the entire direction of the story, while keeping the important material in play. That is not easy.
"The Crying Game" is not for everyone-it's a hard, perverse movie with enough content to warrant several R ratings. The sexual content is unexpected and distorted, but stunningly original. Three minutes do not pass before a character casually utters the notorious four-letter word. Even the violence is aggressive and graphic. "The Crying Game" takes no prisoners, so hold on tight and come prepared for the ride.
I think the film could have investigated the relationship between Dil and Jody with more detail. We learn how Jody feels about Dil, but Dil resists sharing her feelings about Jody. Is this done for a purpose? I think so. Neil Jordan is not the kind of director who would leave out massive plot nuggets like this, especially in a movie as deliberate and complex as "The Crying Game." However, Dil feels a little shallow in this area. With a little more emotion and dimension, she could have been even more intriguing. Jaye Davidson does a great job with the character, however, which probably explains why this element of the story has not received many other complaints.
"The Crying Game" was certainly one of the most original movies to hit theaters in 1992, and deserved many of its award nominations and wins. Neil Jordan bravely takes us through controversial material, while at the same time, keeps us focused on the main points of the movie. He keeps the audience in his grasp the whole way through-something all directors should strive to accomplish.
From a philosophical viewpoint, this movie illustrates unconditional love,
which is not that prevalent in our present world. We could all learn some
things from this movie, if we chose to do so.
I regret that I am only ten (10) years behind in seeing and understanding this work.
The entire cast and crew were excellent in their work and the writer deserves tremendous credit for such insight and understanding of the degree of heart and soul which can and does exist in some people.
I would recommend it to anyone who is attempting to understand humanity and some of the trials and tribulations it puts itself through.
It is classified as a "teaching movie" specializing in unconditional love, or "fiction with a definite positive purpose". Beautiful work.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Crying Game was a sensation when it was first released back in 1992, and looking back on it after all these years it still manages to be an intelligently written and well acted thriller of gender-bending proportions. It famously features one of the most startling plot twists ever conceived for film (which has since become well known; if you're fortunate enough not to know what it is, I will give you the pleasure of discovering it for yourself.). At the time of its release the "plot twist" in question was the main subject of discussion regarding The Crying Game; in retrospect, it is seen not just to be a gimmick, but also an ingenious narrative device--it fits organically with the rest of the plot, both before the revelation and after. Finally, The Crying Game is actually a film that deals with the universal theme of one's need to find acceptance and love in this world (This fact adds new dimensions to its theme song). And because it deals with such a universal theme, this film, like all great films, stands the test of time.
The only reason I watched The Crying Game was because I had heard it was pretty good and it is from the same director as The Interview with the Vampire. Plus it was on TV. The film really surprised me. It was wonderfully made and had a great twist. The performances were real and profound. The writing was some of the best in years. And the direction was outstanding. And the costume design, art direction, makeup, and score were all amazing. The song The Crying Game also caught me as particularly wonderful. The Crying Game is a classic in every way. It makes a lasting impression and should be viewed many times. It is a true classic.
Here is a really deep & touching movie. Dil sings (& moves her hands about
like a classical Indian dancer rather distractingly) "I know all about the
crying game" we know that she knows. It drips out of her voice, it rolls
down her cheek, it stares out of her eyes. She knows she has lost her best
chance in life - the only man to love her was killed in Ireland. Yet when
she meets Stephen Rea the man who, unknown to her, was responsible for her
lover's (Forest Whitaker) death in Ireland, hope again rises in her. She
will hold on to Rea for her life for in him she sees a 'gentleman' very like
Whitaker. But Rea is not the only one with a secret. Dil has one too & that
gives the movie the tension, irony & ultimately the tragedy which sets it
apart from any IRA/ star-crossed lovers/ hostage drama that I have seen.
When Dil tells Rea that she knows he is lying but all the same she likes to
hear him say that he loves her it moves everyone in the
The performances (Adrian Dunbar as the ruthless leader, Miranda Richardson as the cold, teasing assassin & Jim Broadbent as the bartender, not to mention Rea, Dil & Whitaker) are brilliant, the atmosphere is electric & the score is haunting. The only points that rankle are Whitaker's dream-sequence appearances looking like a model in a detergent ad & Dil's suddenly-acquired shooting skills which brings the movie to its horrific climax.
A brilliant movie with layers & layers of depth, & comparable to Jordan's earlier 'Mona Lisa'. That is saying a lot because Mona Lisa walks into my Top 50 movies without even knocking!
The first part of The Crying Game is based on a great short story by Frank
O'Connor, "Guests of the Nation." The balance of this provocative,
brilliantly made film takes you on a journey fueled by guilt, romance,
terrorist intrigue, and a plot twist that ranks as one of the most
in all cinema. The acting, by Forest Whitaker, Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson,
and others, is all first-rate; the cinematography and score are stellar;
Neil Jordan directs with vigor and empathy.
How can anyone give this movie less than a 10? I can't.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Crying Game" is one of those films that you see and you talk about for days after you first see it. A genuine shocker at the time of its release, the film was huge in 1992 and earned a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. The film is a complicated puzzle which involves an IRA volunteer (Stephen Rea in his Oscar-nominated role) who is assigned to guard a British soldier (Forest Whitaker). An unlikely friendship develops and when Whitaker is killed, Rea goes to find his girlfriend who is not at all that she seems. There is no point in giving away her secret to those who have not yet seen this film. However, the twists and turns of "The Crying Game" are what make the film work. The movie is flawed in several areas, but overall it is a noble work that ranks real high on the list of other great films of the 1990s. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
N.B. Spoilers within. It's hard to do justice to this modern
masterpiece. Let me get this out of the way: "The Twist." The whole
issue is a real shame to me; viewers should just stick to the
complexities of the story and characters, and not as the marketers
selling the film would soon glom onto a twist. To think that this
would go on to nearly define for the world Neil Jordan's incredible
movie! (Along with this, the "I-could-see-it-coming-a-mile-away"
attitude...give me a break and just suspend some disbelief.) It doesn't
matter now: the poignancy and importance of what Fergus (Stephen Rea)
and Dil (Jaye Davidson) experience in this film have given it staying
But let's start at the beginning, in Northern Ireland and the IRA, and the kidnapping of British officer Jody (the very solid Forest Whitaker). Here Fergus shows his true colors as a man, befriending Jody his hated enemy and proving himself something of a human beyond the sworn duties of his terrorist associations. This first 35 minutes of the film will indelibly imprint on everything that happens thereafter. Fergus's bonding with Jody cannot be helped because of who the two men are even as it complicates the emotions between them. The essential story narrated by Jody of the scorpion and the frog serves as background metaphor for the rest of the story: "I can't help it it's in my nature." Jody's revealing to Fergus of his distant lover Dil (why did he do it? To pre-avenge the terrorist acts happening to him? Out of pure love and sharing?) lights a fuse for the rest of the film, too. IRA activist and lover of Fergus, Jude (Miranda Richardson) proves herself tough in these opening sequences, but is nothing like the Valkyrie she will emerge as in Act III. Jody is unfortunately dispatched early from the picture, but the damage is done: his work on Fergus's psyche has been cemented.
Fergus departs the IRA holdout, now in smithereens, and heads to London, where he becomes Jimmy. He looks up Dil, heavy with the knowledge of how complicit he was in Jody's fate. This, too, takes a constant place in the storyline and must always be kept in mind. (Stephen Rea wears his burdens in the way he talks, walks, breathes: he and Davidson are incredible.) Dil seems to be able to take care of herself just fine (dumping the the dufus Dave, for example), but once she meets Jimmy she falls in love. The feelings are mutual. At the club where Dil performs, bartender Col (a smooth and perfectly knowing Jim Broadbent) mediates the tentative relations between grieving Dil and searching Jimmy/Fergus.
So, the decisive moment: the big reveal. Dil says honestly, "I thought you knew." And later (with the film's many touches of grim humor): "Even while you were throwing up, I could tell you cared." Fergus has another dream about Jody afterward: now Jody is not pitching (i.e. sharing) a cricket ball, but strolling away with a smirk and a genuine sense of revenge. But Fergus needn't worry: one of the great themes in this movie is the way he can't help but stick with Dil, no matter who she has turned out to be. It's all about Fergus's (and Dil's) huge capacity for love, which has become far more universal.
All comes together breathlessly in the final Act. Jude & co. show up in London and re-recruit Fergus to the cause, an important assassination. Now Jude is ruthless and jealously knows of Dil and Fergus. It's incredibly touching when Fergus shears and disguises Dil to save her life: he has put her in harm's way. (One leitmotif in this movie is the music that accompanies the intimate moments between Fergus and Dil a little sugary but very effective.) When Fergus FINALLY reveals to Dil his relationship with Jody, she is too drugged to fully grasp. But soon she will get it, in spades. The collision between love stories and terrorist plot is unforgettable. Jude is unprepared for the emotional force wielded by the liberated Dil, whose feelings for Jody come to the fore as she has learned of how Jude seduced Jody to his capture in Ireland.
Now that Dil's secret is out (in the real world), the viewer must be fair to the film and *always* keep him/herself in Fergus and Dil's heads. Their points of view are crucial to taking this film on its own grounds. This is one of the most powerful and intelligent films I've ever seen; a thriller combined with multi-layered love stories. Jordan et. al. have created an utterly absorbing and memorable tale.
This movie is not the average, run of the mill suspense film. It is well acted, with a solid script and very human side to the plot. Jaye Davidson launched a nice career with this surprise. In the end, Crying Game does not take the easy way out and cheat the audience. Neil Jordan made some excellent artistic choices. I am genuinely sorry I missed this film in the theatres and I am pleased I rectified this oversight.
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