Wednesday, November 23, 2016

THE CRYING GAME (1992)

Northern Ireland. A small group of Irish Republican Army members kidnap a British soldier (Forest Whitaker with a distractingly bad accent).  They want to exchange him for some IRA members that are being held by the British.  During his short imprisonment, Whitaker forms a bizarre relationship with IRA member Stephen Rea.  When it becomes apparent that he is going to die, Whitaker asks Rea to visit his girlfriend, Dil (Jaye Davidson), in London.  Things turn south when the IRA camp is raided.  Forest and most of the IRA members die, but Rea escapes.  He goes underground and after finding work as a construction worker in London, he decides to visit Dil.

Now here is where things get interesting, but unfortunately I'm going to have to use some spoilers to discuss it properly.  (If you haven't seen the film yet, then please skip to the next paragraph.)  [SPOILERS AHEAD]  Okay...so Rea meets Dil.  He doesn't tell her about his past with Whitaker.  It appears that he has a crush on her...even though it's blatantly obvious that they are in a gay bar and Dil is actually a dude.  At this point, I didn't think anything of it because Rea and Whitaker already had some gay vibe stuff going on earlier (Rea touched Whitaker's penis twice for god's sake!).  So, things progress and Dil and Rea go out a few times, she even blows him and then later on when Rea discovers that Dil is a dude he freaks out!  Was Rea actually surprises by this?  It seems so, since he pukes then takes off, but maybe it was just more of him facing the fact that he's gay?  I don't know.  The whole thing seemed way more dramatic than it actually needed to be.  If the filmmakers were honestly trying to fool the audience and pass Dil's character off as female then why didn't they just cast a woman in the role and then use a body double (or prosthetics) in the reveal scene?  It worked for SLEEPAWAY CAMP! [END OF SPOILERS]

Anyway, I liked THE CRYING GAME, but the pace was too slow (Dil didn't even show up onscreen until 40 minutes in!) and I honestly believe a lot the crisis in the last act could have been adverted if the two leads had simply talked to each other.  Then again, I see this same unneeded drama in movies and television shows all the time...GREASE, for example.

Worth a watch, but it's nothing worth getting overly excited about...although, I do think the story would have worked out really well as a novel.