Quick thoughts on…

“The Constant Gardener” —– Why did Tessa (Rachel Weisz) die? That’s the big mystery unraveling in this movie. Her husband Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), a British diplomat in Kenya, goes through a harrowing journey just to solve it. He knows she was onto something. Conspiracy theories, anyone?


Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston

Fernando Meirelles

I might come off as racist here, but when I want to see a movie that takes place in Africa, I’d prefer to see a predominantly black cast. “Out of Africa,” which I saw last month, also had the same problem. I could imagine people in the future going – “Hey, did you know in the past, Africa films had white main characters?”

“The Constant Gardener” is a very good film. Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”) is an immensely talented director. I very like the look of the film, quite stylized but not too distracting. The film’s visuals come alive when it shows us the poverty-striken areas of Africa. I rarely see such images, and Meirelles films them with earthy spirit. The story has some boring parts, but you’d never notice from the way he tells the story. Now that’s a filmmaker.The screenplay though is a tad complex and hard to follow through sometimes. But once the mystery takes some nasty turns, it is suspenseful. The acting here is brilliant. Although Amy Adams from “Junebug” should have won Best Supporting Actress, Rachel Weisz is wonderful. She plays Tessa as a woman who’s beautiful on the outside (easy for someone with the looks) and inside (this is where acting becomes reliable). I think this is the first time I grew fond of Ralph Fiennes. He brings a handsome tenderness to the role. I think this is his best performance.