The Crying Game

It's still fresh, the movie The Crying Game, which came out almost twenty-years ago, in 1992; but definitely not for everyone. In it are two love stories intertwined, tightly choreographed, to heighten the plot to an explosive rage. While telling these stories, the film offers an image of the Irish Republican Army, especially its commitment to a cause. And the hurdle to that cause -in the film, that is- is a British subject, Dil, played by Jaye Davidson with hypnotic calculation. She seems to be what we think she is, until the film reveals something about her. From that point on, we realize its writer and director - Neil Jordan - is twisting the story to another dimension, through illusions nurtured in the notion that gender is performance. Jordan is careful that, when Fergus - played by Stephen Rea - enters The Metro bar to look for Dil, we don't immediately recognize it's not quite a bar for everyone. We somehow see the bar through Fergus' eyes, almost oblivious to the kind of crowd he is in. I think it's a satisfying trick and illusion, so that we, too, will be surprised what Dil is trying to hide. And that revelation seems to carry the weight of conversations about this film, overshadowing other heavy elements that attempts to tackle issues of race and nationality.

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