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The Crying Game (1992)

  Directed by: Neil Jordan
Written by: Neil Jordan
Starring: Jaye Davidson, Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, Forest Whitaker
Links: The Crying Game on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

The Crying Game (1992) is also mentioned in pearly's review of The Sixth Sense (1999).

"Left me crying alright (but not in a good way)" - a review by em_fiction

Everyone loves a good plot twist — ah yes, a very neat creation indeed. The earliest example I can think of is by thriller-master film legend Alfred Hitchcock, the creator of the twisty Psycho (1960). The good ol' thought-it-was-this-but-turns-out-it-was-that kind of thing is certainly a marvellous experience the first time. Its power is so bloody tremendous that it can save the baddest of bad films (well, maybe not the baddest). At the click of a finger, it can transform something like a mindless shoot-em-up (cough) Usual (cough) Suspects (cough) into a masterpiece. Your vote of 5/10 all of sudden becomes a good solid 9. Yes, we all love a film with a good twist.

Sadly, this is not one of them.

Lately, the 'plot-twist' has become overused and iterated by Hollywood filmmakers who all want a good name. I'm not sure if it will ever be able to re-establish that incredible first-time effect again, but anyway. Neil Jordan's The Crying Game is one of the earlier 'twist' films from the 90s. Stephen Rea plays a Irish Republican Army soldier named Fergus. Him and his team, including Jude (Miranda Richardson) capture an English soldier named Jody (Forest Whitaker) and hold him hostage. The IRA teammembers take turns in guarding the hostage, and Fergus, who's the softest member of the group, develops an odd friendship with Jody. Things go wrong, the group split up and Fergus heads to London where he fulfils his promise to Jody that he will seek out his girlfriend, Dil (Jaye Davidson) and look after her, without disclosing his IRA background. And things just start happening from there.

I've read many places that The Crying Game supposedly has one of the greatest plot twists of all time. Okay, I'll just make myself clear: Hitchcock's Psycho had a good twist, Fight Club (1999) had a good twist, Primal Fear (1996) had a good twist, The Usual Suspects (1995) had a damn good twist — but this? This was just plain wrong. I've seen enough good 'twist' films to know that this doesn't come anywhere near one. I won't spoil the so-called 'twist' for those who are still keen, but I will say this: have your expectations any higher than usual and you will be disappointed. Simpsoholics should remember a particular episode where Mayor Quimby spoils the twist anyway, but luckily I didn't see that episode again until after I watched it (come to think of it, I doubt I would've reacted very differently to this crappy load of mediocrity if I had already known the twist).

Even with the twist, it wasn't a very good film. The story was slow, bland and uninteresting; the characters were shallow and highly unlikable, and for some reason I felt that Neil Jordan was more interested in getting a good idea for a twist and then enclosing it in any lame story instead of thinking up a good, gripping narrative and then perhaps, using Quentin Tarantino's words, "peppering it up" with a twist. Fight Club is an example of a film that did that, and the end result was brilliant (just for you curious cats, Tarantino was talking about "peppering" real-made action sequences up with CGI rather than using just CGI for the whole thing. The interview can be found on the Movie Show website).

Nonetheless, I can't say entirely bad things about a film which I generously awarded five whole points. The acting was very good; Stephen Rea makes a great subtle lead. Miranda Richardson plays her nasty character very well and as for Jaye Davidson... well, watch it and see. But, I do have something to say to Forest Whitaker: you're a great actor, you were well cast and you played your character to a satisfactory standard, but if you ever ever try to put on an English accent ever again, I will have to kill you.

em_fiction gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 29 Jan 2004

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Reader comments

  1. This movie was a big thrill I knew it was Jaye under all of that make up. But that didnt change the way I thought about him.

    A comment from Sarah Dean aka Grim on Mon 26 Dec 2005 16:48 #

  2. I am a BIG fan of Jayes When I first saw him in that movie Stargate he gave me the shivers I thought he was the hottest thing I have had ever seen.

    A comment from Sarah Dean aka Grim on Mon 26 Dec 2005 16:51 #

  3. Wow Jaye you are really doing a great job in all of your movies to bad I cant see you in person. Oh well good luck in your career hope to see you in another movie some time soon.You have done a great job so far in your movies. Sarah

    P.S keep it up.

    A comment from Sarah Dean aka Grim on Mon 26 Dec 2005 16:56 #

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