Director's Influence on The Crying Game

Director's Influence on The Crying Game

As both the writer and director of The Crying Game, it can be safely assumed that nobody else connected with the production in any capacity had greater influence over how the film turned out than Neil Jordan. For better or worse—whether you love it or hate it—the bulk of credit or blame must go to Neil Jordan. While that assertion is nearly beyond argument as an objective truth, it is only slightly more subjective to suggest that when Jordan maintains such control over a film, the finished product turns out much better than when he does not.

A Saturday viewing binge of The Crying Game, The Company of Wolves, The Butcher Boy and Michael Collins compared to a Sunday viewing binge of We’re No Angels, Interview with the Vampire and The Brave One is all one needs to intuit that the more Jordan invests personally in the story he is telling, the more dazzling the demonstration of his storytelling gifts.

By the time The Crying Game was released in 1992, Jordan had been working on the idea and the resulting script for a decade. The screenplay was written under the title The Soldier’s Wife, but Jordan decided to change that title on the advice of good friend Stanley Kubrick who warned that movies with military-related titles typically did not fare well at the box office. Kubrick also felt that the movie would be impossible to release under any title due to the difficulty involved in casting the idiosyncratic and absolutely vital role of Dil.

If any one single factor can be extracted from the making of The Crying Game that demonstrably illustrates the full extent to which Neil Jordan’s influence permeates every frame of the movie, it is that the movie ever got made. The movie got made in spite of such a dire prediction from a bona fide directorial legend with tremendous experience trying to get difficult films made. The film got released despite the fact that end result is a movie where the plot suddenly comes to an abrupt end and then shifts into a totally different story midway through—a story that introduces blockbuster-unfriendly subjects like transgenderism and homosexuality. The Crying Game not only did get made, but grossed 20 times its budget and earned Neil Jordan an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

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