The Crying Game (1992) dir. by Neil Jordan

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Crying Game is a disarmingly simple film with very little set up and straight forward dialogue. The script doesn’t try to trick us. (With one massive exception and the thing that made the film famous) The story is, for the most part, very lean and linear. The brilliance in the film is in the little observations the script makes with all the idiosyncrasies of the characters- an IRA member whos tough exterior is broken down by his friendly captive (Whitaker, with a convincing British accent), who isn’t trying to manipulate the good natured patriot (or terrorist, depending on your point of view) so much as he is appealing to the man’s better angels. Forrest Whitaker is spellbinding, bringing a slightly theatrical flare to the role of the kidnapped English soldier. His line delivery and pleasant nature is very appealing. For his relatively brief screen time, he makes a lasting impression. Stephen Rea is fine as the confused, conflicted terrorist who doesn’t seem to be sure who he is or what he wants. He’s devoted to his cause, but he finds himself struggling to hate a man he’s bonding with over jokes and a love of cricket. Rea is a good conduit for an audience that isn’t sure where the film is going. As the connecting tissue between Whitaker’s doomed Brit and Rea’s conflicted Irish nationalist is Whitaker’s captivating, mysterious girlfriend Dil, played to perfection by Jaye Davidson in an astounding performance that is at once endearing and sexy as well as confounding. Davidson’s performance is made all the more memorable by the actors’ rejection of Hollywood after this searing, break out performance that broke barriers and opened up a world of possibilities in the thespian world. The film challenges our perceptions of romances and thrillers, setting us up for quite a shock at the films denouement. Neil Jordan’s direction is flawless in this brilliant, groundbreaking film that must be seen to be believed!

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