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Written by Timothy Sexton
“The situation is simple. You're being held hostage by the Irish Republican Army.”
And there you have it. The IRA has kidnapped Jody, a British soldier, as part of the ongoing battle to give Ireland back to the Irish as one side sees it and to give those Britons making Northern Ireland their home a sense of continuity to their lives as the other side sees. Occurring very, very early on in the narrative, this bit of dialogue is especially pertinent because it sets the stage for the movie’s continual focus on deception, half-truths, duplicity, trickery, ruses, shams and pretexts. To put it simply: nothing is simple in this movie.
“…it's not in your nature to let me go.”
Jody’s quick assessment of the Irish is in response to Fergus making the inquiry about what, exactly, does Jody know about his people. The question of what is the nature of human being is one that becomes a running theme directly addressed on several occasions throughout the film.
"She's not my type."
This quick little throwaway line does not seem particularly important within the context in which it is delivered. The audience is likely to join Fergus in thinking that Jody is merely protecting his pride with the assertion that he’s gotten himself in this situation very unlikely to turn out well for him by suggesting without even really being attracted to the girl that lured him into the trap. In fact, Jody is lying, but the level at which he is being disingenuous cannot even be comprehended at the time by either Fergus or an audience totally unfamiliar with The Crying Game.
"The pleasure was all mine."
Context is vital here. This line is delivered following a humorous moment in which the hostage Jody must urinate, but cannot do so because his hands are tied, thus requiring Fergus to unzip and hold the anatomical instrument necessary for this function. Fergus gives the reply in response to Jody’s grateful observation that he realizes this could have been an easy thing for Fergus to do. Fergus replies with the above quote, followed by an odd sort of laugh. In light of later events, the level of honesty and deceit exhibited by Fergus has to be called into question and examined.
"...and as they both sink beneath the waves, the frog cries out, `Why did you sting me, Mr. Scorpion? For now we both will drown!' Scorpion replies, `I can't help it. It's in my nature!'"
This quote comes at the end of a rather lengthy fable that Fergus tells in its entirely to Jody and will later begin telling Dil as the film fades to the final credits. The story is essentially an allegorical meditation on the subject of how dependent upon one another human beings are for their survival and how quick they are to act in direct opposition that survival by engaging in utterly senseless acts that serve only to guarantee their doom. As mentioned earlier, the nature of humanity is prime thematic material on which the narrative hangs.
Fergus: "Thing is, Dil, you're not a girl."
Dil: "Details, baby, details."
Details, indeed. The world is filled with details that get blown up beyond all reasonable proportion. That Dil is not a girl is a fairly big detail at the moment for Fergus and Dil’s response is to suggest that quite a few of the things in life that one makes a big deal out at the moment eventually shrink down to become minor details. As evidence, witness the status of gender and the narrow construction of what it meant to be a girl in 1993 versus what it means to be a girl today.
"Who knows the secrets of the human heart."
One of the great tragedies of real life is that bartenders are nowhere near as philosophically gifted as bartenders in real life. Take Col, there. Simple, elegant, understated. Of course, for Fergus’ sake, he could have at least made a little effort to overstate the case.
Col: "Came to see her didn't you. Listen, there's something I should tell you. She's, uh..."
Fergus: "She's what?" The barman looks up toward the stage.Col: She's on.
Which is not to suggest, of course, that Col didn't at least have some desire to be slightly more overstated.
Deveroux:” Is that his tart? Does Pat have a tart?”
Fergus: “She's not a tart.”
Deveroux: “No, of course not, she's a lady.”
Fergus: “She's not that either.”
The idea of a clever double entendre in a James Bond movie goes something like this: "I am now aiming precisely at your groin. So speak now or forever hold your piece." The Crying Game is filled with offhand little remarks that don’t call attention to themselves like a Bond pun and which, in many cases, only come to make sense in retrospect. In this specific case, retrospect is not required, but the subtle delivery is a testament to the respect that everyone involved has for their audience.
"Maybe you don't care whether you die or not. But consider the girl, Fergus. The wee black chick."
The level of deception taking place in this scene is spectacular. Jude, it should be mentioned, is sporting the very stylish short back pageboy bob haircut featured in the iconic poster for the movie. So she’s putting on a masquerade every bit as much as Fergus in his response to leave “her” out of it in reference to a wee black chick that doesn’t—at least by their standards—even exist because the chick sports the anatomical features of a dude.
"As the man said, it's in my nature."
The last line that Fergus speaks in the movie before the fading audio as he commences telling Dil the fable of the frog and the scorpion. What is the nature of man? A question that has been touched upon by some of the greatest philosophers in history. And a question that forms the central thematic premise upon which the revelatory narrative of The Crying Game is constructed.
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