The Constant Gardener/Out Of Africa [DVD]
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Double bill of films set in Kenya. 'The Constant Gardener' (2005) is a hard-hitting political thriller based on the novel by John Le Carre, and is the first English-speaking feature from director Fernando Meirelles. When political activist Tessa Quayle (Rachel Weisz, in an Oscar-winning performance) is found brutally murdered in Kenya, her widowed husband, unassuming minor diplomat Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), becomes increasingly belligerent in his attempt to solve the mystery of her death, to the surprise of his British High Commission colleagues. Haunted by remorse and by insidious rumours of his wife's infidelities, Quayle uses his access to diplomatic secrets to unearth a vast and dangerous conspiracy about the methods of big pharmaceutical companies and the exploitation of the Third World by the West, at the same time discovering more about the beautiful young wife he never really knew. 'Out of Africa' (1985) is a romantic tale of colonial life based on the adventures of Karen Blixen. Karen (Meryl Streep) arrives in Africa in 1914 and marries Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Their marriage soon cools into a 'civilised' separation, but Karen finds herself falling in love with the wild, unfamiliar country and its people. Then she meets handsome, fiercely independent hunter Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford), and a hesitant romance ensues.
The Constant Gardener
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 Fiennes, The English Patient, Schindler's List) has a loose cannon of a wife named Tessa (Rachel Weisz, The Shape of Things, The Mummy), who's digging into the dirty doings of a major pharmaceutical company in Kenya. Her brutal murder forces Justin to continue her investigation down some deadly avenues.
This simple plot description doesn't capture the rich texture and slippery, sinuous movement of The Constant Gardener, superbly directed by Fernando Meirelles (Oscar-nominated for his first film, City of God). Shifting back and forth in time, the movie skillfully captures the engaging romance between Justin and Tessa (Fiennes shows considerably more chemistry with Weisz than he had with Jennifer Lopez in Maid in Manhattan) and builds a vivid, gripping, and all-too-justified paranoia. And on top of it all, the movie is beautiful, due to both its incredible shots of the African landscape (which at times is haunting and unearthly) and the gorgeous cinematography. Featuring an all-around excellent cast, including Bill Nighy (Love Actually), Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father), and Danny Huston (Silver City).--Bret Fetzer
Out of Africa
Sydney Pollack's 1985 multiple-Oscar winner is a sumptuous and emotionally satisfying film about the life of Danish writer Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep), better known as Isak Dinesen, who travels to Kenya to be with her German husband (Klaus Maria Brandauer) but falls for an English adventurer (Robert Redford). The film is slow in developing the relationship, but it is rich in beautiful images of Africa and in the romantic tone surrounding Blixen's gradual discovery of her life and voice. One downside: while we may all love Redford, he is as convincingly British as Kevin Costner is in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. --Tom KeoghSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
See this movie and be aware that the events portrayed are actually happening. To understand what kind of people would deliberately do such things, read the book "Political Ponerology" by Andrew Lobaczewski and the book by Robert Hare called "Without conscience". It explains a lot that is worth knowing.
The other movie in this double deal "Out of Africa" is another good movie, though I found the book to be better.