Review: The Crying Game

As part of my Irish Literature 1930-1990 module we had to watch the 1992 Academy Award winning film The Crying Game. The film was written and directed by Neil Jordan and stars Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson and Forest Whitaker. The film tackles the themes of identity, war and race, using the troubles in Northern Ireland as a backdrop.

The Crying Game is very much split into two parts. The first addresses the conflict that was unfolding in Northern Ireland. The IRA takes a British soldier named Jody (Forest Whitaker) prisoner. Fergus (Stephen Rea), and passionate  Jude (Miranda Richardson), guard Jody in an isolated country house.

As Fergus watches Jody, the two become to like one another. Jody shares a photograph of his love interest to Fergus.She lives back in London and Jody asks Fergus to look her up sometime if he is ever in London.

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Forest Whitaker and Stephen Rea, The Crying Game

There is an unexpected twist, and the next time we see Fergus, he is living as a construction worker in London under a new name. He finds the Jody’s girlfriend working as a hairdresser. Her name is Dil (Jaye Davidson). Fergus gets a haircut, and follows her to a nearby bar, the two begin to fall for each other, but Dil has a secret-and so does Fergus.


The Cry Game is very original and deals with the troubles in a very unique way, it addresses complex themes throughout the film.It is a hard hitting, incredibly honest film that provokes a lot of emotion.

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Jaye Davidson, The Crying Game.

My criticism of The Cry Game is that although it has many intriguing characters and story arcs, the film does not go into any of them in enough detail. It skims over many interesting plot points, especially at the beginning. We never really get a chance to know any of the characters on a deeper level apart from Fergus perhaps.

For a film that has so much happening it would have been nice if they had cut away some unnecessary plot points and dealt with others in more detail. With such strong performances it would have be interesting to see a more focused approach from the film. Still a must see film with many twists and turn that will hold you attention throughout.