The characters in this movie are just a handful - a few Irish Republican Army rebels, a government soldier and a gay hairdresser. This movie, however, covers a lot more ground in terms of great storytelling and viewer impact than most movies that involve hundreds if not thousands of characters.
The plot is both simple and straightforward. If you are to read it on paper, you would think that there is no way a movie can be made out of it. But thanks to the direction of Neil Jordan and outstanding performances from the cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, and Jaye Davidson, a great movie was eked out of that simple plot.
The story goes this way: Rebels abduct a government soldier to use as a bargaining chip. If the government does not meet their demands, they will have the abducted soldier killed. Yeah, I know. We've heard and seen all of these before in countless other movies. What makes The Crying Game movie different and better is in the way the story is told and played out on screen.
One of the rebels soon becomes friends with the captive. This is yet another story angle we've seen in a lot of other movies - captor bonding with his captive. But The Crying Game's angle is fresh, bold, funny and heart-felt. The first thirty or forty minutes of the movie which are spent on the back and forth exchanges between captor and captive are among the best scenes in the film.
Things take a turn towards another direction when the government doesn't meet the rebels' demands. The captor will have no choice but to kill his captive. He cannot do it however and almost allows his captive to escape. Due to some circumstances, the captive dies anyway.
Before he was killed, the captive soldier had asked his captor for a favor - to tell his girlfriend in London that he was thinking of her before he died. The plot takes another twist and brings the characters to London where the rest of the movie plays out.
Obligated to fulfill the favor that his dead captive and friend asked of him, the captor goes to London and locates the girl. The lives of the characters turn into a bad mess from here. The rebel enters into an affair with the girl who is actually gay. The rebel was shocked when he found out she was in fact a he. To make matters worse, his fellow rebels got hold of him to do yet another assassination job. Things don't go according to plan and a lot of people die as a result.
The movie ends with a sad but satisfying final scene.
All in all, The Crying Game is a must-watch movie. It's one of those movies that you watch more than once to take the whole story in.
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