An IRA soldier named Fergus (Stephen Rea) befriends his hostage Jody (Forest Whitaker), in this 1992 thriller.
The Crying Game is quite unlike anything else out there, with a plot full of genuine surprises and compassion. The political themes of race, gender and sexuality shimmer from the screen, in what remains a unique piece of modern filmmaking. Neil Jordan writes and directs what is arguably his greatest film, laying the groundwork for Breakfast On Pluto and winning an Oscar for his screenplay.
What is lacking in Forest Whitaker’s accent is more than compensated by Stephen Rea’s melancholic lead performance. Supporting turns from Jim Broadbent, Tony Slattery and Miranda Richardson round off the film’s rich roster. It’s particularly good when Queenie from Blackadder II pistol whips Forest Whitaker in the face. The use of music is strong too; from the opening panning shot of the fairground accompanied by When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge, to Boy George singing: “I know all there is to know about The Crying Game.” Who knew he was such a film fan?
The Crying Game is a thoughtful and sad thriller, and a true original; certainly a more original IRA story than Patriot Games, but then that’s not difficult. It’s completely unexpected and unpredictable, with a haunting quality that makes it hard to pin down. This is a movie worth seeing with as little prior information as possible. Even reading this review is too much.