If youíve never seen The Crying Game and you enjoy a drama that stirs around politics, human nature and sexual identity, this is definitely a film to see. Summing up the plot would really spoil some central elements of the movie, so Iíll throw out a few key words: guilt debt, commitment, love, gender, IRA. If none of these sound like your bag of popcorn (and donít expect Patriot Games; the IRA involvement in the story isnít very big) then youíre better off looking elsewhere for your entertainment needs.If youíre still with me it should mean youíre still interested in see The Crying Game. And thatís fine. I just have a few reservations about the movie that made it not as amazing as a lot of people make it out to be. This is going to be excruciatingly vague to avoid spoiling anything, which will also make it difficult to follow.
Toward the beginning of the film, IRA soldier Fergus (a great performance from Stephen Rea) is ordered to carry out an assignment heís opposed to. If he doesnít do it, heíll most likely be killed. So, to save Fergus from being killed and to also save him from going against his morals, writer / director Neil Jordan throws an outrageous contrivance to allow the plot to keep going. It takes care of the IRA assignment and puts Fergus into hiding in London. I recognize that the contrivance was necessary but thatís not the same as being well written or well executed.
An even bigger complaint I have is how the IRA ties into things: it doesnít. The film isnít about the politics of north Ireland at all. The inclusion seemed almost like a marketing scheme, a way of attracting people who otherwise wouldnít be interested in the film. I found the few gunfights and explosions that do occur simply distracting. Even worse, the fact that Fergus is supposed to be an IRA soldier makes it hard to believe some of his actions.
My main problem with The Crying Game is how, in the end, it really pulls its big punch. This is a movie about whether or not gender really matters. But instead of having Fergus make a decision on the matter, heís taken out of the situation. He makes a decision of sorts, but not one that sheds any light on the controversy.This isnít the type of movie thatís meant to be reviewed. Itís really meant to be discussed. And if you enjoy discussing a difficult film, this one is rife with content. Just know that it has its shortcomings as well and definitely isnít for everyone.