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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A green thumb
The title 'The Constant Gardener' has multiple meanings for this film, but first it refers to the obvious, the character of Justin Quayle, a middle-tier member of the British diplomatic corps in Africa, who is constantly trying to cultivate a proper garden, be it in London or in Africa. Into his routine civil service existence, Tessa arrives, full of ideas, passion for...
Published on 5 Jan. 2006 by Kurt Messick

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and well acted, but not exciting
I like films where the plot is believable, tied in with actual history (past or present). This film is one of those, tying together big pharmaceutical companies, drug testing, corporate greed, politicians trying to hold on to votes, poverty in Africa, AIDs, TB, the value of a western life vs. the value of an African life, the interwoven relationships of small ex-pat...
Published on 3 Oct. 2010 by J. S. Hardman


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Sept. 2014
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No problemo
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars hoity toity nonsense, 7 May 2014
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This review is from: The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
There are Two main characters. A 24 year old wealthy student named tessa and a slightly older male politician played by Raplh feinnes

Constant Gardner is shown through two time periods. We see how the two wealthy and liberal minded people meet and the challenges one of the characters has to come to terms with.

The majority of the Constant Gardner is based in Kenya and raises questions about the wealthy corporate companies using third world people for their own gains.
In my opinion the characters are weak. A rich wealthy young woman trying to rescue the local natives from the savage western business people and the male diplomat all is very la de dah

There was ONE very strong scene involving bandits/ Dacoits on horseback

Constant Gardner was a bore. If anyone wants to know about Africa- i would suggest watching manimal or Red scorpion with Dolph lundgren
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24 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Of course the critics loved it, 13 April 2006
By 
Tom (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I think in the final analysis, fine performances, fine production design and fine cinematography count for very little when a film is so wrapped up in its smug self-deception that it demeans the causes it affects to champion. Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), a decent-hearted civil servant, falls in love with Tessa (Rachel Weisz), a political activist brimming with youthful righteousness. At the beginning of the film, Tessa weeps and rants about the decision to go to war with Iraq; we have the cliché of the "over-emotional" woman whose excess of feeling is supposed to chasten the buttoned-down conformity of the people around her. She says nothing of interest about Iraq. The subject of Iraq is a mere dramatic shorthand for any fashionable subject about which "people like us" hold the same opinion. Not two minutes later (of screen time at any rate!) our couple are shown having beautifully-photographed sex. Having the right emotions about Iraq obviously gets such people laid. I have an Iraqi friend who told me that in England, when people find out that he is Iraqi, they almost always apologise - "I'm so, so sorry". Why, he asked me, do they do that? Of course I replied that the majority of us in the UK opposed the war and we feel appalled by the misery that has ensued, and that the Labour government having been legitimately elected, we all feel in some way responsible for its policies. However, watching The Constant Gardener, a more sinister explanation presents itself. Perhaps those apologies to this random Iraqi are offered more as narcissistic tributes to the English person's sense of ethical superiority. Perhaps what they are saying is "how beautiful I am that I care". I haven't told him this.

And Africa? We have only one properly presented African character, a doctor, who has to have Tessa do his talking for him when the big men are around, and who has in fact so little in the way of a rounded character that he can be arbitrarily labelled as "gay" half-way through the film to service a plot-twist. Otherwise, the Africans are smiling children of the sort beloved of passing tourists, or corrupt policemen in fly-blown offices. There is no more than a superficial effort made to present the African locations as specific, coherent societies. "Africa" is merely an object for the viewer's "compassion" or repulsion. The constantly whirling camerawork flings us into the exhilarating chaos; it never occurs to the film-makers to look at anything. In Sans Soleil, when Chris Marker holds his camera for so long at the Africans on the Cape Verde islands that their eyes flicker directly for a moment at the lens, the effect is both intense and delicate, and elevates this collage of images from West Africa and Japan above mere travelogue - a subverting hint of emotion breaches the closed circle of the film. The Constant Gardener, with it's smugly cathartic ending, allows no unpolished feeling to disrupt its narcissism. I wonder if this narcissism isn't symbolised in the film by Quayle's mourning the loss of Tessa, political activism motivated by private erotic conscience, a gentlemanly pre-occupation with the conflict between duty and propriety.

The Constant Gardener is insulting to Africa. It is also, on a much smaller level, insulting to Britain, although.... perhaps this film is symptomatic in a particularly ghastly way, and in that sense presents a side to this country and its character which I would rather not have had to face. One could defend it I suppose by saying that it at least "raises the issues", but there is nothing empowering, nothing motivating about this film. It is in fact extremely boring. As it drags into its second hour, it is a movie one feels oneself wading though, up to one's waist in the sludge of fine cinematography and flashy editing. But I imagine we are going to see a lot more films like this in future years, as gloss substitutes for genuine care and solidarity. The times obviously demand them.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
enjoyed it
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 21 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Gripping, a page turner (if it were a book). Excellent acting, great entertainment that is mixed with a heavy message.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Constant Gardener, 28 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
An excellent film. Moving, subtle, thought provoking, beautifully shot and well acted.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it, 28 Jan. 2007
By 
Kerry Wilde (Ashton under Lyne) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I rented this video purely from reviews but when it arrived I could not remember what it was about. It is a great film but it starts slowly so you have to stick with it. Before you know it, it draws you into the intrigue.

The scenes shot around Africa are fabulous, Rachel is great in this film.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well made, but a bit boring, 5 July 2008
By 
D. Brusca (Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Lots of critical acclaim for this Oscar and BAFTA nominated movie, but dare i suggest that it's actually a touch boring? Well made and well acted of course, nothing wrong there, but the screenplay in lacking inspiration and you never really feel much empathy for the characters, save perhaps for Ralph Fiennes.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good cast, but let down by poor story telling, 28 May 2006
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This review is from: The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I regret that despite the cast I did not enjoy this film - it just does not work as "a story". I watched it with someone who has read the book & they dodn't feel it worked either so I'm not alone. Nothing is explained in any coherent way to the viewer.Ralph Fiennes is good but too "stagey" for this type of role. It certainly didn't merit the hype it got on initial release.
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10 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars it's not worth it, 1 Jun. 2006
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S. Golding (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I was really disappointed by the really complex + confusing plot and over-the-top sentimentality which made this film a struggle to watch. Contrary to other reviews, i thought the ending was the best bit (possibly because i actually understood it) but it didn't make up for what was overacting and a poor cohesive storyline throughout. It's been given far too much hype by the snobby broadsheet types who think that if a film is about corruption in Africa it must be good. For a far better film looking at the troubles in Africa see 'Red Dust' and you won't go away disappointed, like I did here.
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The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005]
The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005] by Fernando Meirelles (DVD - 2006)
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