Constant Gardener

6 out of 10


Dark and Troubling Adaptation

In the spirit of such films as The English Patient and Cry Freedom, Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Wiesz star in this dark and troubling adaptation of the similarly titled best selling novel by John Le Carre. After his wife Tessa, an aid worker, is found murdered in what appears to be a crime of passion, British diplomat Justin Quayle (Fiennes) travels to Northern Kenya to piece together the last days of her life and uncover the mystery of her disappearance. Fast-paced and sweepingly beautiful,

The Constant Gardener is a powerful and moving portrayal of the effects of government and business interests in the Third World and is also a story of courage, justice and the strength of the human spirit. A tightly-knit and gripping film, award-winning director Fernando Mierelles and cinematographer Cesar Charlone (both City of God) create a dreamlike and ethereal setting illustrating the confusion and frustation as Quayle, mired in a web of shadows and lies, races to find the truth and come to terms with the destruction he views around him. While possibly more appealing in the style of a straight action thriller, Mierelles' vision is thought provoking and raises important and relevant questions about the relationships between the richest and poorest nations of the world and of our relationships to each other.

Containing fabulous performances by Fiennes, Bill Nighy, Donald Sumpter and Peter Postlethwaite, it is an unsettling and memorable portrait of a man marked by grief at the loss of his wife not only though her death, but to the system which created the conditions of her demise. Not to be missed.

Not to be missed

Film Critic: Jenny M Lillies