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In this successful psychological thriller, a reluctant agent of the Irish Republican Army discovers that some people just aren't who you expect them to be. Fergus (Stephen Rea) is an IRA "volunteer" who, despite personal misgivings, takes part in the kidnapping of a black British soldier, Jody (Forest Whitaker), stationed in Northern Ireland. The IRA hopes to use Jody as a bargaining chip to win the release of IRA operatives behind bars, but, while guarding Jody, Fergus becomes fast friends with his prisoner. Jody makes Fergus promise him that if he dies, Fegus will look in on his girlfriend, Dil (Jaye Davidson), and see if she's all right. Jody escapes, and Fergus doesn't have the heart to shoot him; as fate would have it, Jody runs from the woods into a street only to be run over by a British police vehicle, which then flushes out the IRA compound. Fergus escapes to London, where he's wanted by the law for Jody's kidnapping and also by his former girlfriend, IRA operative Jude (Miranda Richardson), who thinks he knows too much to fall into the hands of the British authorities. Good to his word, Fergus tracks down Dil, and soon the two outcasts find themselves entering into a love affair, although Fergus discovers that Dil is not the sort of woman he thought she was. Writer/director Neil Jordan won an Academy Award for his screenplay; the title song, which was a U.K. hit for Dave Berry in 1965, was re-recorded for the film by one-time Culture Club vocalist Boy George with backing by the Pet Shop Boys.~Mark Deming
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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
A great love story
Excellent movie about a man with reservations about his affiliation with terrorists. His bond with his captive. And the love affair with his captive's love interest after his captive's demise. The undercurrent of affectation, the guilty pleasure, and the surprise of gender bending are all part of a story that has a little bit of something for everyone. Fergus, Dil, and Jody are really great characters. This picture should have swept the Academy awards the year it was released. A must see film!