BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003797Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The Constant Gardener
DVD disk
01.24.2006 By: Quigles
The Constant Gardener order
Director:
Fernando Meirelles

Actors:
Ralph Fiennes
Rachel Weisz
Hubert Kounde

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In Africa, a widower attempts to uncover the mysteries that his murdered wife was trying to expose (among which include ruthless businesses and corporate corruption).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
For a critically acclaimed, Golden Globe-nominated, Oscar-bait political thriller, THE CONSTANT GARDENER doesn't even remotely hold up to the hype. In fact, it's not even a political thriller - it's a political drama. There's not a thrill in sight... unless, of course, you consider uncontrollably shaky camerawork to be thrilling. Personally, it doesn't thrill me one bit, but it does make me nauseous. That technique might've worked wonders in CITY OF GOD (a much, much better movie), but here it feels like they were trying to force the style. In other words, it didn't come naturally. None of the movie did. The pacing feels awkward, the characters aren't all that interesting, and the direction only works about half of the time.

On a brighter note, at least the premise of the movie is interesting. Also, when all is said and done, the film does feel like it has a purpose. It puts across a strong message, which is a whole lot more than can be said for most of the trash Hollywood unloads. However, those expecting that message to be combined with high-energy thrills and any actual entertainment value should be forewarned - this movie is a slow-burn drama, through and through. And I stress the word "slow"; considering the movie lasts over two hours, it's amazing how little actually happens. It also doesn't help that everything is figured out (and repeated endlessly) way before the film ends. But before I go ending this review with even more thrashing, I'd like to stress just how beautiful this film is to look at. The awe-inspiring Kenya landscape is really something to behold, and there are many times throughout the movie where just the visuals alone made we want to keep watching. If nothing else, check out the movie for that.
THE EXTRAS
A decent collection of extras that answered many of the questions I had concerning the making of the movie. Still, a commentary really feels needed with a movie like this, and that's something we don't get.

Deleted Scenes (10:34): There are 4 of them. In my opinion, there should've been more. The ones here are decent, and hold a few interesting moments, but they're nothing worth getting excited over.

Extended Scene: Hauma - Play in Kibera (9:42): This lengthy scene in the movie reveals in full a play acted out by some of the natives. Interesting for a quick look.

Embracing Africa: Filming in Kenya (9:29): An interesting and sincere featurette that gives a nice behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to film a movie somewhere other than Hollywood. What I found most compelling was that most of the movie consists of real people following their daily life in background, with the actors simply being filmed around them. Definitely worth a look.

John Le Carre: From Page to the Screen (8:08): The writer of the novel (as well as many others) discuss the adaptation of the book to film, and the complications surrounding it. Worth watching

Anatomy of a Political Thriller: Behind the Scenes of The Constant Gardener (11:35): Once you skip the boring stuff in the beginning, there's some juicy info for you to listen to. One thing in particular I took notice of was the free-flowing type of filmmaking Meirelles uses. He doesn't use markers for the actors or try to confine the style of the film. Me being an aspiring filmmaker myself, I consider working this way more lazy than anything else.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
"Overrated" is easily the best word to describe this movie, although "dull" comes up at a close second. The movie just does not live up to the hype. However, if you watch the flick with a completely open mind, and erase all of the comments you've heard or read concerning it, then I'm sure it will be much easier to appreciate. Then again, no matter what way you look at the film, it still feels a lot more like a stylized documentary than a political thriller.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| March 2017 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Fantastic Beasts
  • 2
    Sing
  • 3
    Moana
  • 4
    Doctor Strange
  • 5
    Fifty Shades Darker

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting