I wasn’t sure what to expect when sitting down to watch the new DVD release Constant Gardner. I had heard a few things about it but not alot. I had heard that “the critics” liked it, and that it was somewhat sad and that it may be a bit slow. After seeing the film I guess I would have to agree on all counts. I can see why people liked it…..the great acting, the political themes and the way the movie unfolded revealing a little information at a time, the conspiracy theories and excellent cinematography. For me the movie was slow, very slow in fact. But I probably wasn’t in the mood for a long deep plotted drama at the time so I am giving it the benefit of the doubt.
The story is about a British diplomat played by Ralph Fiennes and his activist wife, played by Rachel Weisz. While hubby is working in Kenya, the Mrs. is getting involved with the people of Kenya and finds out too much confidential information that eventually leads to her death. Without giving much away, the rest of the movie is about the husband trying to get to the bottom of what happened to his wife, and flashbacks of their marriage and relationship. The plot is probably too intellectual to be a real “action thriller” but it is suspenseful and builds to its conclusion.
Fiennes and Weisz are marvelous in their roles and deserve all the attention they have received because of their performances. The whole cast was very believable and deserves praise as well. The scenery and visuals of the movie were well done as they caught the essence of the Kenyan culture and of it’s people. With all the positives aside, I still needed something more out of this film that I never got. It was long. I actually had to watch it in two sittings so as not to fall asleep. If you do feel yourself dozing near the beginning, just remember that the last hour is the best, so hang in there. It’s not that I am afraid of a drama or a thick plot these days, but I just couldn’t connect. I would suggest that you try it on for size and let me know what you think.
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