"I know all your secrets, Tess. I think I understand you now."
When British diplomat Justin Quayle's (Ralph Fiennes) wife Tessa (Rachel Weisz) is found dead in Kenya, is starts him on a journey to uncover many secrets. Those of his wife, as well as others.
The Constant Gardner truly deserves the label of an intelligent movie. Often, the viewer is given a bit of information presented one way, and only later sees how it truly fits into the mystery of Tessa's life, death, and the overarching story of unethical practices by pharmaceutical companies in Africa. The narrative is non-linear, going from the past to the present and back again, while weaving an ultimately touching story of Tessa and Justin's relationship within the framework of the bigger story. And that relationship ultimately becomes the soul of the movie. It's satisfying and expertly told, but it did take me a while to become fully invested in the plot. This isn't an action-heavy movie by any means, so don't watch with expectations of primarily that kind of entertainment.
Special mention has to be made of the outstanding performances given by Fiennes and Weisz, as well as the beautiful African cinematography. The two actors really give a sense of humanity to their characters, and slowly reveal their complexity in a way that can only be described as impressive. And the movie itself is filmed in a realistic way that at times completely makes you forget that you're watching a film.
The Constant Gardner is a thought-provoking political/conspiracy-thriller that hits the right notes and becomes more and more involving as it goes along. Even if this kind of movie generally doesn't appeal to you, the performances of Weisz and Fiennes make it required viewing.