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By: Sunil Noronha
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
The award-wining movie The Constant Gardener is based in Kenya. Ralph Fiennes (Justin Quayle) shifts base to Nairobi on an assignment for the British Government. His wife Tessa Quayle (played by Rachel Weisz) gets murdered along with a travelling friend Dr Arnold Bluhm played by Hubert Kounde. Devastated by the killing of his wife, he goes in search of the story behind her murder. He digs deeper into the incident and he finds out his wife and travelling companion at the time were killed because they had investigated and were in knowledge of leads of illegitimate medical research of AIDS medicines. Matters get even worse when the enemies he is up against are the British Diplomacy and some of his very own acquaintances.
The movie starts with the death of Weisz before going into flashback mode where their first encounter right upto their marriage and their move to Africa is documented. Weisz, his wife, uncovers that some illegal tests conducted for AIDS treatments on the poor people of Kenya. As a result, some of these "testees" die and this sets Rachel on a mission to find out why. She discovers a well-organized pharmaceutical scam in which poor innocent natives of Africa are being used to test drugs. As she goes deeper into the issue, her intrusion into the discreetness in which the operation is carried is noticed and she is brutally murdered along with a partner in the cause whom she is travelling with at the time. The British Diplomacy, being one of the parties involved with the operation, close up the issue fast and quick but Justin doesn't give up. Upto now, he has had three prime focuses in his life-his work, his wife and his garden (where the movies title is derived). Now his wife is gone (and the garden no more gives him solace). He is restless wanting to know why and how. Against the expectations of his friends and colleagues, he dives full fledged into investigation mode. He find out about the scam and that his wife was going after the scam because of which she was murdered. During his investigation of the case, he finds out that some of the story accomplices are how own friends and acquaintances.
The movie brings out previously unseen sides of the actors in Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes. Rachel is fiery and passionate in the movie. Her performance shows her ability to do drama well. Ralph is settled and methodical in the movie. His role in this movie has shown certain sides of his acting that have not been seen yet. The director Fernando Meirelles has done a marvellous job with the movie. The romantic side of the film might really put you off though.