The Crying Game

“If you reveal an ending that everybody already knows, does it still count as a spoiler?”

There’s at least one flaw in this question: no matter what the movie, surely it can’t be true that “everybody” knows the ending, or even that most people know it! Let’s settle for whether it’s a spoiler if it’s widely known.

In the case of the memorable 1992 film The Crying Game, you probably do know the ending if you’re old enough, but I guess that most people in their 20’s and 30’s are unfamiliar with it. Stop! I shouldn’t be saying “the ending”! Now that I have watched it again after 29 years, I realize that I have been remembering it wrong. Yes, I correctly remembered the general plot and characters, but the shocking reveal is definitely not the ending, even though that’s how I recalled it. The reveal actually takes place just a couple of minutes past the midpoint!

Strange how that happens. The mind does play tricks on us all.

Anyway, this is an astonishingly good movie, well worth seeing again if you saw it back in 1992, and definitely worth seeing for the first time if you never saw it when it was released. It’s about gender politics and domestic terrorism and racism and deception and love and other difficult topics. Roger Ebert, of course, does a better job than I could of describing the opening:

The movie opens in Northern Ireland, where a British soldier (Forrest Whitaker) is kidnapped by the IRA. In a secluded forest hideout, he is guarded by a team including Fergus (Stephen Rea), who has become a committed terrorist and yet is still a person with kindness in his soul. The soldier may be executed if the British government doesn’t release IRA prisoners. Meanwhile, he must be guarded, and as Fergus spends a long night with him, they get to know and even like one another. The soldier shows Fergus a snapshot of his girlfriend, back in London, and asks him to look her up someday – if, as the soldier suspects, he is going to die soon.

So that’s the premise. I could go on to comment on what happens in the next two hours, but I will refrain. If you happen not to know the big reveal, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Yes, it’s definitely still a spoiler, even if it’s well known.

Categories: Movies & (occasionally) TV