Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Constant Gardener

I've never particularly enjoyed watching Ralph Fiennes on screen but after listening to a very promising review of The Constant Gardner on National Radio (NZ public radio), I put the film on my must-watch list. And this afternoon I did just that, watched it. In short, no regrets.
The Constant Gardener strikes a comfortable, happy and thoroughly engaging balance between wonderfully intimate love story and disturbing tale of murder and politcal/industrial intrigue. Both Fiennes and the, previously unknown to me, female lead, Rachel Weisz, give superb performances. Nothing short of believable. In fact, all performances are excellent. The cinematography also deserves special mention for the inclusive familiarity which falls just short of voyeurism. Kenya, in which the film is largely shot, and its people offer a colourful, warm and stunning backdrop to this thoroughly commendable film.


Blogger Lulu said...

Now see, I adore Ralph Fiennes and really like Rachel Weisz; nevertheless until I mailed it back to Netflix last week, this film had sat on my coffee table since... oh... January? I don't know why. It seemed to require more commitment than I had. Or something. But now perhaps I'll ask, sheepishly, for it back.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Sigrid Jardin said...

What a terrific and thoughtful review of one of my favorite films. Unlike you, I love watching Ralph Fiennes any time, and this one was no exception. I thought the entire cast did a bang-up job, and it was complex and compelling to watch. You are such a good writer!

4:29 AM  
Blogger adagio said...

lulu: yes, i would recommend you do watch it. rachel weisz put me very strongly in mind of kate winslet, another british actor whose work i respect greatly.

sigrid: writing reviews is an exercise i *really* struggle with. how does one adequately convey the the very personal feelings inspired by a very much enjoyed book or film? i've decided that the answer to this is, at least in part, to simply de-personalise the experience by approaching the exercise from an objective and analytical perspective. However, it is still a struggle.
Ralph Fiennes has very attractive teeth.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Jacq said...

i love ralphie; dunno how much range he has though; the movie was quite english-patienty dont you think?
the thing that bugged me was his not being able to understand why she hadn't told him anything - if only she'd told me, bla bla - when his attitudes had been explicitly condemnatory before her death - she'd have been crazy to tell him.
And she and the other guy probably died because she refused to go public, but was trying to protect him. So i was pretty pissed off with him.

1:31 PM  
Blogger TDharma said...

A commendable review. I feel the same way about Ralph, and Rachel, and thought the film was great.

8:37 PM  

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