Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Crying Game (1992)

By Eric Jessen 7/2/09

I always think I know what is coming next in a movie, and a lot of the times I'm right, but when I'm wrong I love it. In The Crying Game I was wrong every step of the way. I loved how I never knew what to expect. And what made The Crying Game particularly effective in keeping me on my toes was that when there was a sudden plot twist the characters seemed as shocked as I was. I was just going along for the ride with the characters as they were in one weird situation after another. The character we follow the most is Fergus, played by Stephen Rea. Fergus is a kind hearted man who works as the IRA's “Mr. Nobody” mainly because he has nothing else to do. He admits to not really being worth much and not having many skills. We first meet him when his IRA group kidnaps a British soldier, played by Forest Whitaker. It's Fergus' job to guard the hostage and if necessary kill him. Fergus, being a nice guy, pals around with the hostage Jody. When Jody realizes he's probably going to die, he tells Fergus to tell his girlfriend he loves her.
The Crying Game puts Fergus in one difficult position after another. The first is, should he kill his new friend Jody or and risk being killed by the IRA. You'll see, but he doesn't even end up having to make a decision. I thought for a second this might be a movie about the IRA but it turns out I was wrong. The shack where the IRA is holding Jody gets attacked and Fergus flees to Britain. Fergus finds Jody's loved one, Dil (Jaye Davidson), and begins what will be a strange and volatile relationship. Just as I think this movie is going to become another love story between Dil and Fergus with sex scenes and tear jerking moments, I found out there's a problem with Dil for Fergus in the bedroom (By the way, I thought she looked a little manly from the start). And, by the way, the IRA is back in the mix including the dangerous seductress Jude (Miranda Richardson). Jude says she will kill Dil if Fergus doesn't go on a suicidal mission for the IRA. Now Fergus has another tough decision to make. He wants to protect and care for Dil, he even loves her in a sterile way, but is she worth risking his life for? Remember he's an extremely nice guy. In the end he makes a very honorable sacrifice.
The Crying Game is worth seeing because we never really know what to expect. We and the characters make assumptions and think we've got it all figured out, but when we're wrong we learn something about ourselves. This movie makes me think about all the assumptions I've made about people. Maybe I was wrong. The main thing I got out of the Crying Game was that being wrong in my assumptions can be a lot of fun.

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