The Constant Gardener (2005)

Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Hubert Koundé, Danny Huston
A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.
The Constant Gardener is a smart, gripping, and suspenseful thriller with rich performances from the leads.
  • Focus Features Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 31 Aug 2005 Released:
  • 10 Jan 2006 DVD Release:
  • $33.6M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Rachel Weisz truly gives an Oscar worthy performance.10/10
Crisp and heartfelt thriller that gives you the right shot in the arm with an Oscar caliber performance by Rachel Weisz and an equally Oscar worthy performance by Ralph Fiennes. This is a film about the horrors of big business and the way they are willing to experiment on the poor to achieve their goals. Rachel Weisz plays Tessa, A feisty activist who uncovers a conspiracy by a pharmacy company to test experimental drugs on the poor natives of Africa. She then tries to fight them and expose the conspiracy until she is brutally murdered. Her husband, a quite diplomat then begins to take up her cause and try to give his departed wife justice while trying to uncover the hard truth of what is going on.

Fernando Meirelles Follow up his masterpiece ":City of God" with an equally satisfying journey of self-discovery, love and Justice. Ralph Fiennes owns the role of Justin and he takes you into the center this thrilling journey and into the center of his soul as well. The real showstopper here is the performance of Rachel Weisz, who gives the right balance of self-righteousness, heart and determination with her role. Weisz makes you believe in the film and makes you equally as determine as Justin and she was in uncovering the conspiracy and uncovering the true about what had happen to her.

This is one of the best films of the year and if there is any justice in the world, this baby would be nominated to the hill with Oscars and Rachel Weisz would get one as well because her performance is easily the best performance of any actor we have had all this year.
3-in-1 Film: Romance, Thriller, and Social Realism!5/10
"The Constant Gardener" seeks to juggle three film styles—the romance, the thriller, and provocative social realism. On all three levels, the film succeeds, especially with the latter.

Much credit should go to director Fernando Meirelles, who has synthesized a virtual textbook of different film techniques. The uses of set-ups, location filming, lenses, film editing, and close-ups were simply dazzling. While the panoramic scenes of the African landscape were breathtaking, there was a starkly contrasting approach to the close-ups in the scenes in the city. The jittery, hand-held camera sequences added to the dramatic tension and underscored the urgency of coming to terms with poverty and disease.

The romantic portion of the film was anchored by the two characters played by Ralph Fiennes (Justin) and Rachel Weisz (Tessa). Their first meeting was dynamically presented as Tessa was a social activist heckling Justin as he was making a political speech. When the hall was cleared, however, it was Justin who was actually comforting Tessa after her outburst. The juxtaposition of the placid, passive Justin versus the fervent, hyper-kinetic Tessa was brilliantly established in that opening scene.

The strands of thriller and social realism are inextricably tied together in the film. As a whodunit, "The Constant Gardener" seeks to uncover what actually happened to Justin and Tessa on their African journey. At the same time, the main culprit that emerges is the heavy hand of greed as the pharmaceutical companies exploit helpless victims of tuberculosis for the purpose of testing and marketing an experimental drug. At one point in the film, it is disclosed to Justin that the pharmaceutical industry is no different than "arms dealers."

Another British film entitled "The Girl in the Cafe" appeared recently on American cable television. That gem of a film is a low-budget version of "The Constant Gardener." Both films seek to raise consciousness about the tragedy of world hunger and disease. The title of "The Constant Gardener" is an important one because of the time and care taken by Justin in his garden both at work and at home. In the process, however, he has ignored the urgent pleas of his wife, and he has lost touch with the world crisis to which he is arguably a contributor.

The eighteenth-century French writer Voltaire ended his famous novel "Candide" with the slogan "One must cultivate one's garden." This film would appear to suggest that instead of tending our gardens, we need to follow the lead of Justin and Rachel and see how we all might work to help others right now.
Meirelles, Weisz and Fiennes make a modern political masterpiece.10/10
Intelligent and moving political thriller that should be held right up there with "All The Presidents Men" and "The Killing Fields " as one of the best political thrillers ever made. Fernando Meirelles tops his last directional effort with a thriller that is moving, scary and down right forthright in it's views of big companies gone wrong and the horrors that they are willing to inflect on others for the sake of profit. Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes give career best performances in this film and that's a huge compliment considering the fact that they are good in almost everything they do, even in bad movies. Weisz is strong willed and obsessive and Fiennes is determine and endearing and both of them compliment each other with there destine to be award winning chemistry and acting chops. The director compliments both of them with a view of Africa that is rarely seen in film and a sense of reality that is only found in real life.

Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes and Fernando Meirelles all should be honored at award season for their amazing efforts in this film because as of right now, this is with out a doubt the film to beat come Oscar time.
Beautiful, Haunting and mesmerizing5/10
Great romantic thrill ride that is made even more special by the performances of Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes, who both give this adaptation of the John Le Carre book a real sense of beauty, dignity and grace with their on target performances. Weisz is perfection as Tessa Qualye, a civil rights activist who is murdered for trying to bring awareness of their illegal practices on the poor natives of an African village. Weisz gives her character a self-righteous drive that is made poignant by her determination and sheer will and she also makes her character human, not a stereotype, which makes her performance the more real. Ralph Finnes plays her grieving husband Justin, who takes up her cause and begins to lean of how wonderful his wife really was and what he missed during the time she was alive. His haunted performance is in my opinion his best ever and is the driving point of this haunting odyssey of justice, lost and self sacrifice. Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes both deserve Oscar nominations for their superb performances and Fernando Meirelles deserves one as well for his superb direction that puts you smack in the middle of the story that is unfolding right in front of you.

Hands down, the best film of the year so far.
Haunting, Heartfelt and Horrifying10/10
Slow tension building thriller that is charge even more with the great performances of Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes, who both bring an essence of realism to their roles and a sense of chemistry that is really not found in movies like this anymore. Rachel Weisz brings a ferry fury that is ripe in it's convictions and Ralph Fiennes brings a cool, collective zeal that is a slow building timer ready to emotionally exploded at any minute. Both performances compliment the fine directing of Fernando Meirelles, who gives this tale a sense of brilliance in its storytelling and a sense of the way the world really works. It's a heartfelt story of lost and redemption and it's hauntingly poetic in it's horrifying look at the horrors of a world that is willing to cast a blind eye at the problems of big business and corrupt governments that are willing to do anything in order to make a fast buck. Even going as far than to destroy human life to achieve their goals.

This is a brilliant film and I can't wait to see it again.