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Fernando Meirelles’s adaptation of John le carre’s 2001 novel The Constant Gardener is a drama film which is sure to thrill the global audience around the world. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, which includes Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, and Best Supporting Actress for Rachel Weisz, which she won. The film had a budget of $25 million but it made a huge profit with gross revenue of $82,466,670 proving to be a commercial success among the audience around the world.

Story

Based on the novel by John Le Carré, The Constant Gardener starts with a murder, as any good mystery film does. British diplomat Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) assigned to Nairobi sees his world fall apart when his wife, activist Tessa Quayle (Rachel Weisz), is found brutally maimed in a remote area of Northern Kenya. His colleagues at the British High Commission, especially “close friend” Sandy (Danny Huston), believe the usually easy going Justin will quietly let them take care of the situation. Up to this point in his life, Justin has done little but quietly does his melodious job, tend to his gardens, and marry an extraordinary woman. Haunted by his past memories, and sceptical that his wife may have been unfaithful and cheating on him, Justin will no longer sit by submissively. He cannot accept what happened to Tessa, especially when he finds out that the government wants to sweep the whole thing under the rug. It seems Tessa was trying to discover something–and was perhaps even on the verge of exposing a deadly pharmaceutical conspiracy. So, Quayle embarks on his own investigation, risking his life to uncover the truth and whether he succeeds or stopped under his tracks form the chief outline of the film.

Acting

Fiennes and Weisz are outstanding in this film. The Oscar winning actor Fiennes Playing Justin steals the show. He captures all the sad beauty of a man mourning for a woman he loved very much but who he also realizes he didn’t know all that well. It’s almost as if in investigating Tessa’s murder, Justin finally sees what kind of woman his wife truly was–and falls in love with her all over again. You feel his pain and feel sorry for him. For her part, Weisz has certainly proven she is more than just a sweet face alarmed by disturbed mummies. She expertly portrays a determined social activist driven to help these Kenyan people any way she can, even if it means sacrificing her own personal happiness and life. She in the end sacrifices her own life in order to find the truth and find justice for the Kenyan people. Weisz is radiant in every single shot–which is rather an accomplishment considering that the actress was nine months pregnant, sweaty and without make-up in many scenes. You often wonder how it is these two characters ever fell for each other to begin with, but that’s the true tribute to these fine actors. In their capable hands, they make Justin and Tessa’s opposites-attract-but-modest love story unquestionable. Danny Huston is a peculiar choice to play Sandy, Justin’s devious colleague. He struggles with his ‘fake’ British accent and a better choice of cast would have been a better choice for the character.

Direction

With The Constant Gardener, Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles proves his surprise Academy Award nomination for directing the scorching City of God wasn’t a stroke of luck. The guy obviously knows what he’s doing and he provides energetic direction nailing the audience glued to their seats. Meirelles hands us the horrible, heart wrenching plight of the African people, focusing on the hauntingly beautiful Kenya and lovingly detailing its colourful people. Scenes of Tessa walking through barely liveable shantytowns, as bright, seemingly happy children run around her while singing, leaves a very indelible impression. He zooms in on these two people whose love is put to the test because of the circumstances they find themselves in, while wrapping up the narrative in a compact murder mystery, which may or may also involve a conspiracy of global proportions. The Constant Gardener is much more than just a mystery. It’s going to make you think–and think hard.

Trivia

.The novel was originally banned in Kenya because it depicts corrupt Kenyan officials.

. Ralph Fiennes held and operated the camera for Justin’s point of view in the film.

. The filmmakers installed water tanks, a new bridge and a classroom in Kibera, the slum in which the film was shot. They also built a secondary school in the desert of northern Kenya where the final scenes were photographed.

My verdict

The Constant Gardener is an elegant, absorbing, and suspenseful mystery with rich performances from the leads. Despite an unhurried opening, the energetic direction by Fernando Meirelles and admirable lead performances by Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz make this adapted film an exciting and suspenseful thriller

4 broccolis out of 5

COME BACK FOR LATER

The Constant gardener is primarily set in Kenya loilangalani and slums on Kibera a section of Nairobi, Kenya. It follows the lives of a shy low-rung British diplomat Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) who is posted in Kenya and his beautiful young humanitarian activist Tessa (Rachel Weitz). Justin is satisfied to represent his country without questioning his boss. when his wife Tessa and an African man (who he suspects Tessa to be cheating with) are found brutally raped and murdered in a remote area in North Kenya, he did not believe the death reports that they were assaulted and harassed by bandits, and he begins to ask penetrating questions against the activities of the government, much to the astonishment of Sandy Woodrow (Danny Huston) and his other equals at the British high Commission located in Kenya. But as his inspections quickly lead him to an awry trail of blackmail, dishonesty, exploitation, political scandal and global conspiracy, he revives what he represents and what made him marry and find love for his wife in the first place forms and whether he avenges the death of his wife forms the chief outline in the film

For most of the movie, which is an elegant style of flashbacks and foreshadowing’s, Tessa is dead, murdered in the Kenyan wilds, where she had travelled with a African doctor named Arnold Bluhm (Hubert Koundé), who many in the Nairobi community assumed was her lover. In that gossipy world, Tessa was always something of a scandalous woman, pricking the fake civility of cocktail parties with impolite questions about money, authority, hardships and illness of the poor people in Kenya. She favours to spend her time – usually in the company of Dr. Bluhm travelling through slums and communities, during her pregnancy, where she was kind of a good figure among the native villagers.

After she gets murdered Justin sets out to find who caused the death of his wife and her companion and whether he finds his solution forms the rest of the story.

The actors have done a splendid job in my opinion Fiennes as the literal gardener Justin Quayle the perfect dashing and sensitive heartthrob learns how much he loves his wife and he wants to bring the big pharmacy corporation down and bring dirty secrets out.

Rachel Weisz is absolutely joyful as Tessa, a brilliant and determined social activist, unwavering in her pursuit to uncover the immoral research methods practiced at the expense of indigent Kenyan citizens. Weisz is radiant in every single shot–which is quite an accomplishment considering that the actress was nine months pregnant, sweaty and without make-up in many scenes.

Danny Huston is a peculiar choice to play Sandy, Justin’s devious colleague. He struggles with his ‘fake’ British accent and a better choice of cast would have been a better choice for the character.

Despite an unhurried opening, the energetic direction by Fernando Meirelles and admirable lead performances by Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz make this adapted film an exciting and suspenseful thriller

My verdict

The Constant Gardener is an elegant, absorbing, and suspenseful mystery with rich performances from the leads.

Despite an unhurried opening, the energetic direction by Fernando Meirelles and admirable lead performances by Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz make this adapted film an exciting and suspenseful thriller