The IRA thriller-comedy-romance is a seldom represented genre in film. It feels at times like The Crying Game is actually two separate movies in one: a sort-of comedy romance bookended by a highly charged thriller about terrorism, which makes for an odd mix. It reminded me a bit of the ending to A.I., where suddenly the film takes off in an entirely unexpected direction – not that I’m saying The Crying Game is anything like A.I. of course… although imagine if it was. The robot terrorist with a heart? You know, it might just work…
The point is that when you hit the twist, The Crying Game veers off in an entirely unexpected direction, and when the IRA plot reared its head again towards the end, it genuinely took me by surprise. I’d been so engrossed in the awkward romance story that I’d almost forgotten about that surreal 20 minutes at the beginning of the film, when Forest Whitaker does his best to convince us he’s a cockney (frankly, his best isn’t good enough).
We spend quite a bit of time bemoaning poor old Forest’s well-below-par accent skills in the podcast, but rightly so I think. His British accent is SO bad – and we’re talking sub-Keanu Reeves in Dracula here – that it’s almost impossible to get past it and enjoy the film. Ian actually resorted to putting on the subtitles for the first bit because he just couldn’t understand a damn thing Forest was saying, such is the garbled jumble of words that fall from his mouth. Is he Irish? Is he American? Is he English? The impression we’re left with is that he must have moved around a lot before ending up in the clutches of the IRA, possibly via space. Eventually though, by the time he reaches the speech about the scorpion and the frog, he seems to settle on a bizarre hyper-cockney accent that would make even Dick van Dyke blush. “Why didja sting me Mista Scorpion?” Shudder.
Anyway, going back to the twist, we decided there was no real way we could talk about The Crying Game without discussing THAT scene. We’re fairly sure that the whole world and his dog knows what it is by now, but just in case you don’t, there’s a big fat spoiler alert halfway through to let you know when to turn off, watch the film, and then come back and listen to the rest. But if you’ve ever watched Father Ted, The Simpsons, Ace Ventura, Hot Shots 2 or Naked Gun 3, you’ll probably have a good idea of what to expect.
If our review has piqued your interest in the film, you can buy the The Crying Game DVD from Amazon by clicking here (and we get a little bit of cash if you do – thanks in advance)
But without further ado, let us present our feature presentation:
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Director: Neil Jordan Year of release: 1992 Studio/Distributor: British Screen Productions/Channel Four Films/Miramax Country: UK