Weeding between the lines
The Constant Gardener
Review by Ross Anthony

A rather taut suspense thriller/murder mystery, “Gardener” takes place in East Africa. The film also seems to be somewhat of a propaganda piece, uncovering a big drug company scandal under which Kenyan citizens are victimized. I’d spent a year in Kenya nearly a decade ago and recall no such plot. Still, the film gives you the sense of urgency apparently intended for its main characters. (The credits read, and I paraphrase, save for the last two words of the quote: “Not based on any actual persons or conditions, thank God.”)

Other than that, this is not a film genre I prefer. So, for those of you who like this genre, you can kindly disregard my opinion. I found the first third of the film rather interesting, enticing, and the African scenes warm wonderful and true. Around midpoint, the teasing tension becomes a bit tiresome and later tedious. I never felt the chemistry between Fiennes and Weisz – though they are both likable on screen. The film is engaging, still it never connects with much more than a curiosity. The emotions run, but not deep. And while some of the “off tripod” shots worked well, others are plainly annoying. Again, this is not my genre.

This film screened at Yelm Cinemas.


  • The Constant Gardener. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz.
  • Directed by Fernando Meirelles.
  • Screenplay by Jeffrey Caine.
  • Produced by Simon Channing Williams at Focus.

Grade..........................B- (1.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:16:57 PDT