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The Constant Gardener
The Constant Gardener
Genres: Drama
2hr 9min

The Constant Gardener is the kind of thriller that hasn't been seen since the 1970s: Smart, politically complex, cinematically adventurous, genuinely thrilling and even heartbreaking. Mild diplomat Justin Quayle (Ralph Fie...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Alliance Atlantis
Format: DVD - Widescreen
Run Time: 2hr 9min
Screens: Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Languages: English, French

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Movie Reviews

LeCarre's Novel Makes Substantial Film
drkhimxz | Freehold, NJ, USA | 11/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A good measure of the pleasure in this film derives from its African focus both in sight and sound. Shots of the people in their homeland and recording of their musical heritage provides flavor to many the the scenes. Beyond that we are treated to fine acting by both leads (Fiennes and Weisz) as well as by the supporting cast. The action is taut as first the wife and then the husband search out the link among a number of health organizations engaged in research into the efficacy of a new drug to combat TB. Death, violence, racial intolerance and bureaucratic face-saving are all part of the dramatic stew. Happily, sufficient evidence for alternative interpretations and moral judgments on each lead characters behavior and outlook. Thus we have an interesting film rather than a sermon to the already converted."
I liked it but...
Michael S. Godsey | Bella Vista, AR USA | 12/01/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The constant gardener was a "good" movie... not a "great" movie. It was a bit long and dry... had a couple of decent internal twists that you don't see coming right away. But in the final analysis a bit of a yawner for me.

I like to buy my movies, I don't go see them in the theatre because I can own them for about the same money and enjoy them at home any time I wish. In this case... I wish I hadn't bought it.

p.s. If any of the actors read this, please don't take it personal I loved the entire cast and the acting was splendid!"
The Constant Conspiracy
Randy Keehn | Williston, ND United States | 04/04/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I found "The Constant Gardener" to be a standard suspense movie. There's a fair amount of mystery and intrigue but, frankly, I was more impressed with the location shots in Kenya. The only reason that I thought to write some comments about "The Constant Gardener" was the politics involved. This could be one of those teachable moments that enlightens how two sides of a story could both be correct.

There's an aspect to "The Constant Gardener" that involves pharmacutical companies dispensing their products on Third World countries prior to the normal length of research that takes place before such drugs can be introduced in the USA. The suggestion is made that this early availability is terrible and is happening solely for the benefit of greedy indutrialists. While watching these developments I couldn't help but think of the early days of the AIDS epidemic. There were no drugs that could cure the disease back then but there were drugs in various stages of promising research that might eventually help. The pleas of dying suferers went in vain because the FDA could not OK a new drug until all extensive studies had been successfully completed. I recall that, in time, some restrictions were eased somewhat but the rigorous standards of the FDA continue to persist. So, is the release of drugs that have laboratory-proven results but without the conclusive, time-consuming studies a crime? Or is it an effort to reach impoverished remote areas with epidemic levels of lethal diseases? I kept thinking how the other side of the story was totally ignored and that greed was shown to be the only motive involved."
Authentic But A Little Hard To Follow
Jeanne Ukwendu | Miami, FL | 04/26/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Constant Gardener is based on the book by John Le Carré of the same title. Set mainly in Kenya, it's a murder mystery about a woman who wrote a scathing report about a drug company that is using poor Africans as test guinea pigs. After writing this report she is murdered while on a trip to the Turkana region of Kenya.

Like the book, the movie opens up with the the murder of Tessa Quayle and her doctor friend, Arnold Bluhm. They are found in the Turkana Lake region of Kenya. Her husband, Justin Quayle, a British diplomat, is left to piece together Tessa's secret project.

We go through flashbacks of Tessa and Justin when they first met, a diplomatic party where Tessa is high ranking diplomatics about the pharmaceutical industry in Africa, Tessa researching the rigged trials and testing of a new tuberculosis drug, her life with Justin, etc. along with watching Justin deal with his wife's death end piecing together what she was doing and why she was murdered.

This movie is well filmed in my opinion. Filmed on location both Kenya and Sudan, all the scenes in Kenya and Sudan were authentic. The Kibera slums in Nairobi look like the slums - trash, filth, and everything. Some of the music in the background was by Ayub Ogada from Kenya. You easily make out the words of "Kothbiro" a couple different times throughout the movie. I highly recommend Ayub Ogada's music, by the way.

I did find the movie a bit hard to follow and the device going from flashback to present over and over lent to my difficulty in pulling together the bits and pieces of the mystery as they ever so slowly unfolded. In the final 30 minutes of the movie, the story finally pulls together and we understand why Tessa was murdered. The book is written in much the same manner - so the movie kept true to the book in this respect.

Although the story line is a bit hard to follow I am recommending this movie as the movie is simply very authentic. If you are interested in what things look like in Kenya and how life is lived this is an excellent movie to watch."