The Constant Gardener (2006)
Directed by Fernando Meirelles. Screenplay by Jeffrey Caine.
What a mess of a movie! Such a shame because it had a lesson to teach about how the pharmaceutical industry exploits Africans in their poverty. I was looking forward to seeing it in the context of a political thriller — after all, it’s based on a 496-page novel by le Carre — but the director also wanted it to be a sublime love story and a documentary at the same time.
The DVD contains deleted scenes, which probably should have been left in, including one in which the wife of Sandy (the British diplomat who lusted after Tessa) laid bear her prejudices.
I did like how they photographed the African landscape and captured the poverty of the people on film. But it’s not a documentary, but a thriller. Maybe John le Carre’s book was better; you can see him on the DVD. You can also see the full-length of a play by which Kenyan actors try to educate the masses about HIV. Medical anthropologists love stuff like that.
Rachel Weisz won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress. Sure, she was good, but the film wasn’t.