CRYING GAME, THE: DVD
British soldier Jody (Forest Whitaker) is captured and held hostage by IRA volunteer Fergus (Stephen Rea) after being set up by Jude (Miranda Richardson). Hostage and captor strike an unlikely bond as Jody reminisces about his love for cricket and the beautiful woman whose photo he carries in his wallet. Her name is Dil (Jaye Davidson) and Fergus promises Jody he will seek her out. Dil is a hairdresser by day, singer by night, and when she and Fergus (or Jimmy, as he calls himself) begin a relationship, she is unaware of his connection to Jody. Not only does Fergus have Dil's ex-boyfriend Dave (Ralph Brown) to contend with, but Jude and his former IRA colleague Maguire (Adrian Dunbar) track him down, intent on revenge.
Review by Louise Keller:
Although it has been 15 years since I first saw this haunting film at the cinema, I was surprised how fresh it still feels. To my mind, this is Neil Jordan's most complete work, which resonates on many levels and is as affecting as it is daring. Nominated for 6 Oscars (Jordan winning for best screenplay), The Crying Game taps directly into our emotions. The opening and closing songs - "When A Man Loves A Woman" and "Stand by Your Man" are the expressive bookends, but in the middle comes the unforgettable title song, sung by Jaye Davidson's bewitching Dil, which makes the hairs on the back of my neck prickle. The storyline canvasses politics, racial discrimination, the foibles of human nature and that inexplicable bond that draws two people together. While much hinges on the shocking twist, there is enough substance in Jordan's story and characters to keep us engrossed and mesmerized through every minute of this outstanding film.
There's a melancholy and poignancy to each of the three central characters, and although Forest Whitaker's Jody appears only in the first 40 minutes, his presence is felt strongly throughout the film. Jordan's script is so tightly written, we have no difficulty in connecting and believing the two key encounters. Jody is held captive with his hands bound and his head covered in a Hessian sack, but Fergus (Steven Rea), whose task is to supervise the prisoner, has compassion for him. Jody senses it and we know that when he tells Fergus a fable about a scorpion and a frog, there is a point to the tagline 'I can't help it; it's in my nature.' Whitaker (with a British accent) is superb, but the film belongs to Rea and Davidson, whose characters remain two of the most vulnerable and touching in modern-day film.
Fergus is fascinated by Dil, the girl in the photo and finds himself in all the places Jody had described - Millies hair salon for 'a bit of a trim' and the Metro for a marguerita from Jim Broadbent's barman, who wonders aloud about the secrets of the human heart. ' When Dil sings the title song, wearing shimmering gold sequins with glittering oversize red earings, we, like Fergus, are bewitched. Suddenly he is involved in Dil's life, making Dave (Ralph Brown) jealous, buying her flowers, sharing intimacies. Their relationship travels unexpected and complicated paths - 'it's never the way you expect it,' she says. Nor is the film what we expect, yet we are transported into a world that always feels real.
When you write or imagine something, you often imagine it straight out of your childhood, says Jordan in one of the interviews in the DVD's special features. Other features include an alternate ending with commentary, featurette on the troubles of Northern Ireland and a glimpse inside Madame JoJos.
Published July 5, 2007
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CRYING GAME, THE: DVD (MA15+)
CAST: Forest Whitaker, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson, Jim Broadbent
PRODUCER: Stephen Woolley
DIRECTOR: Neil Jordan
SCRIPT: Neil Jordan
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ian Wilson
EDITOR: Kant Pan
MUSIC: Anne Dudley
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jim Clay
RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Alternate ending with director's commentary; The Making of the film; Northern Troubles featurette; Modern day at Madame JoJo's
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: July 4, 2007