199 of 1001 Movies: The Crying Game (1993)

Neil Jordan got off to a tad bit of a rough start with The Butcher Boy. Don’t get me wrong, it was intriguing and had Jordan written all over it. I just couldn’t get past how annoying the child actor was. The Crying Game though seemed like the perfect place for the director to have some decent actors and let them run with a quirky story though, which is what you get. A quirky, dark, thriller with an odd romance. As I was warned before watching this one, don’t read anything about it before you do as to not risk even an inch of spoiling yourself and the twist which come as surprises and sometimes not so much.

Summary: Jody is taken captive by IRA terrorists after being lured into a trap by Jude. They are holding him hostage since he is a British soldier and they are wanting one of their members back. Fergus is one of the guy who watches over him while he is captive and unlikely friendship occurs between the two men despite the situation that he will be killed by Fergus’ group if their demands aren’t met. Jody has a request for Fergus is he dies though. He wants him to travel to Dil, his girlfriend, and tell her how much he loved her.

Acting: The acting is what makes this odd movie work. The characters themselves aren’t odd, but it’s the situations they are threw in. Forest Whitaker is Jody, and he does a great job at making us instantly feel for this guy. For the first scenes to work you need to feel fearful about what will happen to him. Fergus also straddling the line between a guy who now finds himself wanting to help the hostage, but also not wanting to end up in danger by betraying the terrorist is intriguing too. Stephen Rhea portrays Fergus in a likable manner. The guy never seems to shift emotions with his face, but you can feel them. Miranda Richardson is Jude, and I think she does a good job at making woman really unkind. She at first deceives you with her appearance. There is also Jaye Davidson who does a good performance as Dil.

Filming: The budget for this movie was very low, and they even almost ran out of funding before the end of filming. Neil Jordan works well with what he has got though. There are few scenes that really need much, and he brings out some interesting shots. The score really weakens the movie as it sounds like an old Lifetime movie score, but otherwise for a movie shot on a low budget it is well done.

Plot:  The plot is one that gets talked about for having a huge twist, but to be honest I saw the twist coming from a mile away without even having been spoiled about it before. I can’t believe that really caught people off guard? There are some little minor twist that come in after that that do contribute to the character development. Fergus is where the strongest character is at. The guy at firs seems to be someone you’re just not going to like, and then he transforms into someone you’re cheering on in the movie despite the bizarre situation he landed in. There are a few cheesy scenes though that could have been cut like Jody running in is uniform as Fergus has a flashback of some sort. It just didn’t work with the flow. Also, this movie is described as suspense but considering all the focus on characters I just didn’t feel very in suspense.

The Crying Game is interesting to say the least. The fact it was shot on a low budget yet came off this solid is also impressive. Jordan has talent directing and writing, but atmosphere could have just used a little work. At least spend some more on that score so it doesn’t like an awful cheap movie. The acting is brilliant though and is what makes the quirkiness work.

Rating 7 of 10.

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