Monday, June 3, 2013

853. The Crying Game (1992)

Running Time: 112 minutes
Directed By: Neil Jordan
Written By: Neil Jordan
Main Cast: Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, Forest Whitaker, Jaye Davidson, Adrian Dunbar
Click here to view the trailer


Because my wife and I were both off from work today, because she felt like watching one more movie with me and because she didn't want to watch any of the ones I previously had scheduled, I let her pick just one more replacement from the DVD shelf. This time around she chose "The Crying Game", a movie that she bought and that I'd never seen.

The film begins at a carnival where black British soldier Jody (Whitaker) has picked up a girl, Jude (Richardson) and is trying to show her a good time, before trying even harder to get her into bed. However, as it turns out, the girl was just a decoy and a member of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) and along with her cronies - Fergus (Rea) and Maguire (Dunbar) - they kidnap Jody and try to use him as leverage to get other members of the IRA out of custody. From there they hole up in a desolate area, where they keep Jody tied to a chair with a cloth sack over his head. After a while, Jody and Fergus strike up conversation and actually become quite chummy, despite the promise that if their comrades are not released in three days, Jody will be shot. Knowing that he'll die no matter what, Jody asks Fergus to take his wallet and look up his girlfriend, Dil (Davidson). Jody wants Dil to know that at the end of his life, he was thinking about her. When the three days are up and the deed is set to be done, Fergus takes Jody out into the woods and knowing that Fergus won't shoot him in the back, Jody takes off running. Fergus pleads with him to stop, but when Jody makes it to the road he is run over by a military truck. Following that, the house where Jody was being kept is raided and everyone except Fergus is seemingly killed. Now, Fergus intends to keep his promise, heading to London to find Dil. He finds her quickly enough and the two strike up a romance of their own, but their relationship is saturated in secrets...from both sides.


Don't really have a whole lot to say about this one, so I'll probably be keeping it short, sweet and to the point. I liked the movie for sure, but am not sure how it will fair on the upcoming TOP 20 list. It may be a case of too little, too late or even a case of following something stellar ("Blue Velvet") and not being able to come close to it's greatness. The film was like two movie split in two, with the first one being the relationship that buds between Fergus and Jody and the second being the relationship between Fergus and Dil. If I had my way, the Fergus/Jody stuff would've been lengthened by about twenty or so minutes, just to add another layer of icing to the cake. I would applaud that Jordan was able to establish and cement that relationship so quickly though and make everything that follows believable. I guess it's just that I was enjoying Forest Whitaker and thought he may have gotten knocked off a bit too quickly.

From Jody's death we get into the Fergus/Dil stuff and it was fine, but I did have a few gripes. Let me first say that I knew beforehand that Dil was going to be exposed as a man, so that was something that was already spoiled for me. However, it didn't effect my enjoyment of the picture, because I looked more forward to the inevitable scene where Fergus told Dil all about what happened to Jody and expected a really emotional, heart wrenching scene. Instead, it sort of pops out of nowhere when it does finally happen and it's during a part in the film where the character of Dil is all hopped up on pills, so the emotional reaction is nil. I was really disappointed by all of this, as it seemed to be what we were building to and it never really paid off. I also didn't like the return of Jude and Maguire. I felt the picture would have benefited more if we'd have just kept exploring the relationship between Dil and Fergus, Fergus trying to figure out his own sexual preference and how he was going to break it to Dil that he knew Jody and was partly responsible for his death. Anyway, those are significant gripes, but I liked the picture for the most part. It was engaging, the acting was superb (British film - what do you expect) and there were enough little moments that made the picture worth seeing. Thumbs up, but if I'd had it my way, things would've played out a little differently.

RATING: 7/10  Not bad in the least, just not how I pictured it turning out. It's a good film, but like I said, I think it will be too little, too late as it pertains to "The Crying Game" and the TOP 20 list.


June 3, 2013  4:23pm

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