The Constant Gardener ****


As I walked out of The Constant Gardener with a couple friends, one of them said “That movie made me not want to be a part of this civilization”.  Now that was not a statement of distaste for the film, simply a distaste for some of the political themes in it.  I was quite absorbed by the plot as well, but I was really taken in by the love story. 

This is about two people who meet, rush in to passionate sex, get married, then start to get to know each other.   But before they can really get close, one of them is killed.  Rachel Weiz plays Tessa, who is murdered in a shroud of conspiracy.  Ralph Fiennes plays her husband, a British diplomat.  After her murder, he embarks on a personal odyssey for answers.

Along the way, he begins to really get to know the person he married, slowly falling more in love with her, and slowly becoming overtaken with grief.  The memory of her haunts him everywhere, as he visits places that they visited together.  These memories reflected some of my own, as I’m sure it will reflect yours as well.  Not in content, but in context.

Fernando Meirelles once again marries his frantic camera style with stunning cinematography and very real locations.  He must have a hell of an editor, because between this and City of God, he shows a knack for finding lots of angles as well as a good mix between long and short cuts.  The two movies that I have seen by him now show a very, very gifted director. 

The Constant Gardener is a movie that involves your emotions with romance, and brings in your brains with political intrigue.  It is a movie that should be seen by a lot of people.  Especially those who have a love for real filmmaking.


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