This is going to be a slightly different sort of movie review where I don't go into much depth because I don't think "The Crying Game" should be reviewed in the traditional way. Not because it is a bad movie, far from it, but to write a traditional review will undoubtedly reveal things, things which are surprising and a big part of what makes the movie. So with that said if you are about to watch "The Crying Game" for the first time do so without reading this or any review.
So what is "The Crying Game" well it is the story of Fergus (Stephen Rea) a volunteer in the IRA who is part of a small group who take Jody (Forest Whitaker) a British soldier prisoner. But Fergus breaks the rules; he ends up becoming a friend to Jody and learns about his girlfriend Dil (Jaye Davidson) back in London. When things don't go to plan and Jody dies Fergus escapes to London and takes the alias Jimmy where he tracks down Dil and falls for her. But his secret over Jody's death is not the only thing to complicate matters.
"The Crying Game" is a movie which plays by its own rules and pace. The opening which sees Jody being taken prisoner and then Fergus befriending him goes on for a surprisingly long time before surprising us with the outcome and then when Fergus begins the relationship with Dil we get the next of many surprises. And that is why "The Crying Game" can't be reviewed in depth because writer and director Neil Jordan throws in a variety of surprises which whilst some are now notorious are best not known.
But "The Crying Game" whilst notorious for a certain surprise is in fact a lot more than just a movie of surprises. It is a look at the complexity of feelings, loyalty, friendship and love all of which provides the substance which fuels all of the surprises. It is because of this complexity that you can't take your eyes off of it for a minute as we wonder where it will lead especially as complications cloud the situation.
All of which comes to life thanks firstly to Jordan's style but also some amazing performances. Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson and Forest Whitaker all are on top form, delivering rounded and intriguing characters. But of course the stand out performance is Jaye Davidson as Dil who knocks your socks with a touching, humorous and deeply revealing performance.
What this all boils down to is that "The Crying Game" is a brilliant movie, partly because it surprises you but also because behind the surprises it also has depth, style and some great performances. But it is a movie which should be experienced for the first time with no knowledge because if you know what is coming it doesn't spoil things but lessens the impact.