In a remote area of Northern Kenya, activist Tessa Quayle is found brutally murdered. Tessa's companion, a doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Members of the British High Commission in Nairobi assume that Tessa's widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle, will leave the matter to them. They could not be more wrong. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumors of his late wife's infidelities, Quayle surprises everyone by embarking on a personal odyssey that will take him across three continents. Using his privileged access to diplomatic secrets, he will risk his own life, stopping at nothing to uncover and expose the truth - a conspiracy more far-reaching and deadly than Quayle could ever have imagined.Written by
Source author John le Carré's novel addressed the issue of corporate social responsibility and gigaprofits in one of the world's biggest business sectors, the pharmaceutical industry or BIG PHARMA as its known. In a syndicated article at the time of the novel's publication in 2001, the novelist wrote: "I might have gone for the scandal of spiked tobacco . . . I might have gone for the oil companies . . . but the multinational pharmaceutical world, once I entered it, got me by the throat and wouldn't let go. 'Big Pharma', as it is known, offered everything: the hopes and dreams we have of it; its vast, partly realised potential for good; and its pitch-dark underside, sustained by huge wealth, pathological secrecy, corruption and greed." See more »
Tessa's laptop was clearly a Apple Power Book running Mac OSX, however, during the montage where she was viewing video clips from the web, one set of movies had Windows XP graphics. See more »
Oh, thank you Arnold. I... I can manage that. But I still don't see why you couldn't wait a couple of weeks. Why go all the way up to Loki?
Well, we want to hear Grace Makanga speak, and she won't be coming to Nairobi.
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END CREDITS DEDICATION: This film is dedicated to Yvette Pierpaoli and all other aid workers who lived and died giving a damn. See more »
Written and Performed by Ayub Ogada
Mixed by Ben Findlay
Published by Womad Music Ltd.
(p) 2005 Real World Records Ltd. / Virgin Records Ltd.
Ayub Ogada appears courtesy of Real World Records Ltd. See more »
A depressing and frustrating experience
The movie's frustrating because it gives you a problem in this world to be angry about, depressing because that problem probably won't be solved anytime too soon. It becomes even more depressing because it puts more than one face on the problem and allows us to see the issue through someone who experienced it firsthand.
It doesn't matter if that person is fictional or not. Ralph Fiennes makes him real, and Meirelles surrounds him with what looks and feels like the real world. Ralph Fiennes plays Justin Quayle, a British diplomat married to Tessa (Rachel Weisz, in a heartbreaking performance just as noteworthy as Fiennes's). Justin has a job to do in Africa, and Tessa makes him take her with him, despite his misgivings. They end up entangled in a pharmaceutical battle that has taken lives before and, before the movie is over, will take many more.
The subject matter here begs to be heard, and Meirelles has provided it with a compelling venue. He films with a style that constantly keeps us engaged. It's hard to find fault with this movie. I didn't find myself wholeheartedly loving it either, but I admire it for its courage and emotional truth. The Constant Gardener grips you from the start in the lives of these two people and never lets you go, not even when the movie is over. It's hard to forget this story. I wouldn't want to.
14 of 20 people found this review helpful.
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