At a carnival, Jody (Forest Whitaker), a British Soldier, is lured away by Jude (Miranda Richardson), who seems like a prospective fling, but turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army. Jody is bound, blindfolded and taken out to the middle of the woods where other IRA members wait for orders on when to execute him. While guarding Jody, Fergus (Stephen Rea) befriends his captive through simple acts of kindness. It’s an unhealthy path, like a child growing attached to an animal only meant for slaughter.
Fergus is reprehended by the other IRA members for talking to Jody and letting him see his face. But he ignores their warnings and spends more time with Jody, even promising to take his girlfriend, Dil (Jaye Davidson), out for a margarita at the metro after he’s dead. When the whole operation goes horribly wrong, Fergus escapes and goes to find Dil to fulfill his promise.
As timid Fergus, who seems alone in the world now, approaches Dil, we sense the inner tension with Fergus. He’s partially responsible for Jody’s death, face to face with his girlfriend, what would happen if she knew who Fergus was? Soon, that tension is just set to the background as Dil and Fergus become closer, but Fergus is still has a dangerous past. And how close it too close?
What motivates Fergus to befriend a doomed enemy and then dig himself deeper into the world of his sins by growing closer to Dil? Just listen closely to the story of the scorpion and the frog and you’ll see that it’s just in his nature to be kind. As the film grew to a close, I began to wonder how a person who is ultimately good ever get mixed up with a group of IRA terrorists in the first place? Perhaps it is that mistake that drives Fergus to go out of his way to be a kind person, a sort of repentance. Whatever his motives, his actions move the story in a beautifully smooth manner, and I easily agree with their Oscar win for best original screenplay.
The big twist in this film is what made The Crying Game such a hit. People heard that there is a big shocker in there, so they’ve got to see it before it gets spoiled for them. The funny thing is, that “twist” is what made most studios refuse the film. They were afraid it would be too controversial and ultimately turn audiences away. Thing is, as long as it’s still kept a mystery, this twist is still a big success and becomes a key component to the plot.
Believe me, I’m practically typing in white gloves to keep this film’s secret in tact. If you’re way too curious, the Internet is full of spoilers, but that’s like already knowing what you’re unwrapping on Christmas. The thrill is gone. If you’re interested in The Crying Game, go into it completely green, try not to read much about it and just keep your eyes open. Some of you may avert your eyes at a certain moment, but the best thing is that you didn’t see it coming.
“I can take it Jimmy. Just not in the face.”