The Constant Gardener
- Film Worth:$13.50
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Based on the John Le Carre novel, The Constant Gardener is an intriguing cross-genre polemic...
Based on the John Le Carre novel, The Constant Gardener is an intriguing cross-genre polemic on love, loss and global politics. The romantic thriller follows Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), a British High Commission Member who unexpectedly falls in love with free-spirited activist Tessa (Rachel Weisz), and is soon married to her. Shortly thereafter, the Quayles are in Kenya with Tessa pregnant and deeply involved in local humanitarian affairs. Justin, however, is politically modest, preferring not to interfere with Kenyan concerns, particularly not the type his wife is interested in uncovering, namely deadly pharmaceutical testing in Central Africa. That is, until Tessa turns up dead. Justin begins a desperate crusade to uncover the truth, both about his wife and the corruption within the drug company-controlled health system.
The Constant Gardener serves as a provocative dissertation on political and corporate corruption, motivating inquiry into the price paid for the living standards that western society takes for granted. Talented Brazilian auteur Fernando Meirelles (City Of God) makes his English-language debut and paints a subjective portrait that is altogether seductive and awe-inspiring. His highly mobile camera journeys across beautifully stark African landscapes and through the rain soaked European streets to great effect. Utilising unconventional camera techniques, off-kilter composition and desaturated imagery, the film conveys its voice with a powerfully unique vision.
Fiennes delivers a virtuoso performance, both restrained and deeply layered, while Weisz offers a career-best turn as the zealously-driven Tessa. Other standouts include the scene-stealing Bill Nighy as the High Commission leader and Danny Huston as Justin's troubled colleague. Ultimately, the film proves a highly absorbing and entertaining journey with a message well worth expressing.