Monday, March 17, 2008

The Constant Gardener.

The Constant Gardener. I saw this movie a couple of years ago, and didn't really like it. A friend recently recommended it to me, and I couldn't for the life of me remember why. I just remembered it being very long, and unsatisfying.

About 2 minutes into the movie, I remembered. It is starring two of my least favorite actors. Rachel Weisz, and Ralph Fiennes. Weisz has this brimming overbearingness that comes through in most of her roles. I know some people find this charming, but it drives me a bit mad. I also find her terribly unattractive. I have fostered a dislike for Rafe(I'm writing the pretentious crap phonetically) ever since I saw The English Patient in Spanish. Every role I've seen him in (Except Valdemort) has been of a simpering ninny. Just spineless uselessness. I am very much looking forward to seeing In Bruges, maybe he'll turn things around.

The good news is that they are both well cast in Gardener. Weisz, the bulldozer do-what-you-think-is-best-everyone-else-be-damned activist who drives everyone nuts and hurts everyone who cares for her. Fiennes the rare male 'wet blanket' who underwhelms and acts completely helpless for most of the very long two hours.

The scenery is amazing. Craters, trees, lakes, rivers, the landscapes are breathtaking. We see the vibrant colors and beautiful nature from the perspective of planes, cars, and walking people. Aside from the mains, the people are terrific. Showing a genuine, wholehearted friendliness and exuberance, you can't help smiling at the adorable children. We also see the terrible side of a country with an unstable government. Corruption, graft, constant fear for ones safety, being preyed upon by every outside force and native power possible.

There is a legitimate political agenda in the movie, not bothering to hide. It could have been done well, but seems thin and hacky. Strange indigence and hinted threats only work for so long. If we could combine an effective message with the scenery and take just that, I may have really liked the movie. The main players however, and the poor social commentary doom it for me. View at your own risk.


Yoni said...

Though I generally agree with your characterization of Fiennes, I really thought he was great in Schindler's List. I've been mostly disappointed with him since, though... This movie was underwhelming at best.

Anonymous said...

you don't know what you're talking about. rachel weisz never doesn't look good and ralph fiennes is a damn good actor. man was he creepy in 'red dragon'. i'm aware he didn't have to do much in that role, but neither did javier bardem for his oscar winning role.

not that i think 'the constant gardener' was a good movie, but it wasn't that bad. it just seemed like an indy movie that was really a mainsteam studio picture in disguise. they took the same old hollywood plot and changed a few surface features to make it feel like an independent film. it wasn't a bad movie, it just didn't do anything original.

you're questioning the acting, yet your #1 movie of all time is 'ace ventura'? 'nough said.

Ilyas said...

Andy, can you honestly, truly say that Jim Carrey isn't a good actor? Or that he wasn't funny AND memorable in AV1 ?

As for Feinnes... Have you read the book Red Dragon? It's very very well written and completely scary as hell. The movie was as scary as burnt toast.

Anonymous said...

and how scary was Hannibal? hmmm.. i guess anthony hopkins can't act. take away his knighthood, Hannibal wasn't scary enough.

Ilyas said...

guess what?

Anonymous said...


i can find old articles too:

"As a dual national, despite some initial controversy, Anthony Hopkins retains his knighthood and uses the title 'Sir' in the UK."

either way, it doesn't matter. my larger issue was you saying that rachel weisz isn't hot. i'm beginning to wonder about your standards. just yesterday you were saying that jessica alba playing a STRIPPER wasn't very memorable.

you're in serious jeopardy of having your movie reviewing credentials called into question here.

Ilyas said...

I also said I wouldn't kick Jet Li out of bed. Deal with it