The Constant Gardener


Drama / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 84%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 124,599


Downloaded 55,781 times
April 11, 2019


Archie Panjabi as Meenah Khan
Bill Nighy as Ray Simms
Rachel Weisz as Miranda
Ralph Fiennes as Norman Darbyshire

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 8 / 10 / 10

A compelling love story, very original… and an intriguing drama with a flavor of reality…

The movie opens with a genteel British diplomat whose hobby provides the title, falling for a fiery human-rights activist Tessa (Rachel Weisz), after she harasses him during a speech…They're soon married, and she follows him on a placement to Kenya… There, Justin (Ralph Fiennes) becomes increasingly uncomfortable with Tessa's strange relationship with Arnold Bluhm (Hubert Koundé), a black physician, doing…well, he's not sure what… Suspicion of her brutal assassination soon falls on her confidant Bluhm as he was the last one seen with her, and he's now missing… Justin's journey for answers takes him on a tragic odyssey fraught with mystery and peril… Haunted by memories, Justin undergoes a personality change to become more assertive when he uncovers a huge conspiracy that will stop at nothing even to make money at the expense of helpless Africans, who can't fight their own fight… The film is visually brilliant, and the best aspect of it, is the murder mystery… Is Tessa really in love with Justin? Is she having an affair? What is she really up to? Based on the best-selling novel by master thriller writer John le Carré, "The Constant Gardener" is a fine love story wrapped up in a parable which has real power and it has credibility… It depicts the breach between the rich and the poor and demonstrates quite well that the world is deeply corrupt… Fiennes' character, Justin, is a minor member of the diplomat corps more interested in his garden than in other people, until the passionate, radical world of Rachel Weisz's Tessa turns everything on its head… Justin respected Tessa's spirit and her conviction and idealism… And because of his love for her, he had to finish what she started… Of course people don't want the information to get out and they will do anything to silence him… Rachel Weisz won her first Oscar on March 5th, 2006 for her impressive performance as the beautiful, kooky young woman, whose passion for her cause initially overshadows her gentle side…

Reviewed by sergelamarche 9 / 10 / 10

Great storyline, realistic cinema

A bit annoyingly white washy but the story actually made a lot of sense. It holds together well. Because something similar actually happened in the USA, on the natives, which is the object of another film I've seen. The film get its stride after they catch up with the start event. It continues until the end. Good cinema not too Hollywoodian. Very credible story that John Le Carré cooked up is less outrageous than the truth, according to him, and I believe it.

Reviewed by Red-125 9 / 10 / 10

Powerful and gripping film about Big Pharma in Africa

The Constant Gardener (2005) directed by Fernando Meirelles and based on a novel by John le Carré, is an international thriller. It also had international locations--England, Germany, Kenya, and Sudan. The movie is what you'd expect from Le Carré--gripping, powerful, and hard to predict. However, this film also had a statement to make. The statement is that the governments of wealthy nations collude with Big Pharma--and, of course, with other corporations--to use poor people in poor nations for their own profit. According to the website, The British High Commission in Kenya "maintains and develops relations between the UK and Kenya." In the movie, Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) is a British diplomat who is posted to Kenya. His wife, Tessa, (Rachel Weisz) accompanies him. Tessa is like a terrier, as Justin says. She knows there is dirty business going on in regard to the distribution of a new medicine for tuberculosis. The plot moves forward from there. Bad things happen when you least expect them, no one has clean hands, and virtue is rarely rewarded. Both Fiennes and Weisz are extraordinarily talented actors, and they bring their talents and skills to their parts. (Weisz won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in this film.) Bill Nighy brings his great acting skills to the role of Sir Bernard Pellegrin, who is Quayle's boss. Pellegrin may have the dirtiest hands of all. There were several flaws in the plot. (I didn't read the book, so I don't know if they were Fernando Meirelles's or John le Carré's flaws.) A scene at a diplomatic reception wouldn't have happened. Tessa is a diplomat's wife. She wouldn't confront one of the bad guys in so vicious and public a fashion. A seasoned diplomat has a letter that will ruin him if revealed. He might have shown it to someone, if the reward were great enough. However, he would never let it out of his hands. Still, most of the film appears realistic, and the plot is fascinating. I had a problem with the editing between two scenes. (Granted, the editor was nominated for an Oscar.) We see Quayle being brutally beaten in one scene. In the next frame, he has a few minor nicks on his face. How much time has passed? I don't like to quibble, but this was a major film with talented actors. We overlook matters like this in Indie films, but not in blockbusters. As I've written, the acting was superb. However, even with all this acting talent, The Constant Gardener would be just another good film adaptation of one of James Le Carré's thriller novels. What makes the difference is the on-location photography. Director Meirelles pulled out all the stops to show us Africa. We see scene after scene of the African people and the African landscapes . This movie literally has a cast of thousands. It's one of the most exciting and colorful on-location movies I've ever seen. The film also contains some great African music. Many people don't bother to watch the movie credits, especially if they're at home. I suggest that you watch the credits, because they have a remarkable sound track of music from Africa. Because of the photography, this film will work best on the large screen. We saw it on DVD, because, realistically, that was the only way to see it. It still worked, but I wish I had seen it in a theater when it was released. However, large screen or small screen, The Constant Gardener is a winner. Seek it out and watch it!

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