The story starts off on a grim note as the main character Justin Quayle is informed about the murder of his wife, Tessa.
Elaborate, cynical, ambitious, eager, visually arresting, the film wants it all and gives plenty. It's quality all around, but may be overkill for some audiences.
The discriminating among filmgoers, including loyal pre-DVD first adopters of big-screen presentations, won't be disappointed.
Beginning as a romance and returning to that theme, the film tells the story of career British diplomat Justin The constant gardener Ralph Fiennesthe eponymous gardener, who has his head in the sand, in the soil really, about the corruption around him.
In this case, the wrongdoing has corporations and government colluding in the exploitation of the African poor, who serve as unwitting guinea pigs for experimental drugs. The Constant Gardener is entangled with many story threads that have the narrative jumping continents and time by way of flashbacks.
Except for one short scene, we understand little of the blindsided gardener. Early on, Justin emerges as a cog in the cushy British diplomatic corps. In London, he delivers a bland lecture that is challenged by activist Tessa Rachel Weiszfurious at the impotence of the U.
Confrontational issues aside, their chemistry ignites and soon Tessa is Justin's wife, accompanying him on a seemingly benign assignment to Kenya. Tessa befriends Arnold Bluhm Hubert Koundean African doctor who shares her political concerns and awareness that the big pharmaceuticals serving Africans may have ulterior motives and questionable methods.
They are also activists catapulted upon a mission that results in a double murder.
Justin is clueless about what Arnold and his wife have been up to, even to the point of suspecting a clandestine affair between the two. Sandy Woodrow Danny Hustonhis diplomatic colleague and good friend in Kenya, turns out to be a dodgy fellow with the hots for Tessa.
No better are Sir Bernard Pellegrin Bill Nighythe silky, aristocratic Brit politico who will get his due big-time, and greedy drug company mogul Sir Kenneth Curtiss Gerald McSorleya fast talker whose sales prowess must have sped him up the corporate ladder.
Justin follows clues to Tessa and Arnold's murders to Germany, where he meets Birgit Anneke Kim Sarnauan anti-pharmaceutical activist who corresponded with Tessa. Back in London, he reconnects with Arthur Hammond Richard McCabeTessa's cousin, who provides further enlightenment about drug company chicanery.
Far into his journey, Justin tracks down Lorbeer Pete Postlethwaitethe eccentric and contrite Afrikaans inventor of the drug being tested. As Justin gets deeper into the mystery of the malfeasance, he cannot escape the horrendous realities of what the drug companies, with government help, have wrought: So many of Africa's poor are their unsuspecting victims.
Recalling other recent high-end, issue-driven films like Veronica Guerin or Beyond Borders, The Constant Gardener is a case of well-produced clashing with well-meaning. It was the classic The Third Man that showed that such films succeed by relying on well-defined, intriguing characters who drive the story so that message in that case, the evil of black-market drug dealing in post-war Vienna simmers in a back seat.
Performances in The Constant Gardener are all superb, although characters here seem in service to the message.The Constant Gardener was the first English-speaking feature from Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles, who directed the international success City of God.
Characteristics Moods. The Constant Gardener.
R 2h 8m. Justin Quayle, a member of the British High Commission based in Africa, begins his own international investigation when his wife is murdered. Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston.
THE CONSTANT GARDENER is a slow moving puzzle about a British diplomat who uncovers a government conspiracy while looking for his wife’s murderer. Unfortunately, more attention is paid to rendering a leftist political statement than a satisfying drama. The Constant Gardener is a magnificent exploration of the new world order by New York Times bestselling author John le Carré, one of the most compelling and elegant storytellers of our time..
The novel opens in northern Kenya with the gruesome murder of Tessa Quayle — young, beautiful, and dearly beloved to husband Justin/5(36).
Critics Consensus: The Constant Gardener is a smart, gripping, and suspenseful thriller with rich performances from the leads%. As the world seems to move ever further beyond the comparatively clear-cut choices of the Cold War into a moral morass in which greed and cynicism seem the prime movers, le Carr 's work has become inc.