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The constant gardener - Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Daniele harford, Fernando Meirelles

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Love. At any cost.

In a remote area of Northern Kenya, the region's most dedicated activist, the brilliant and passionate Tessa Quayle (Rachel Weisz), has been found brutally murdered. Tessa's travelling companion, a local doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Sandy Woodrow (Danny Huston), Sir Bernard Pellegrin (Bill Nighy) and the other members of the British High Commission assume that Tessa's widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), will leave the matter to their discretion. They could not be more wrong.

This career diplomat's equilibrium has been exploded by the loss of the woman he was deeply devoted to. They were opposites whose attraction sustained a marriage, the memories of which now spur Justin to take decisive action for the first time in his life and diplomatic career. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumours of his wife's infidelities, Justin surprises himself by plunging headlong into a dangerous odyssey. Determined to clear his wife's name and "finish what she started", Justin embarks on a crash course to learn about the pharmaceutical industry, whose crimes Tessa was on the verge of uncovering, and journeys across two continents in search of the trust. his eyes are soon opened to a vast conspiracy at once deadly and commonplace, one that has claimed innocent lives - and is about to put his own at risk.

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Thriller film Kenya Africa British murder mystery spy drugs pharmaceutical

Persons of interest

  • Pernilla August .... Lara
  • Ralph Fiennes .... Justin Quayle
  • Daniele Harford .... Miriam
  • Danny Huston .... Sandy
  • Hubert Koundé .... Arnold Bluhm
  • Richard McCabe .... Ham
  • Gerard McSorley .... Sir Kenneth Curtiss
  • Pete Postlethwaite .... Marcus Lorbeer
  • Anneke Kim Sarnau .... Birgit
  • Rachel Weisz .... Tessa
  • John Le Carré .... Author
  • Jeffrey Caine .... Screenwriter
  • Fernando Meirelles .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Hey... The constant gardener isn't a horticultural romance, it's a spy thriller! There I was, ready for love among the lupins when suddenly people are being shot and kidnapped and burgled and sneaked up on and that. It was like Spy game but with English people (and Africans, but they're not people, they're just ex-colonial natives).

Having got over that hurdle, I found that I quite enjoyed The constant gardener, especially the fact that it is a British film and not a Hollywood one: Hollywood is still selling the dream of the uSA's Golden Age (the 1950s) whereas Britons have always known that life sucks, even at the height of Empire (eg The four feathers). I like that life sucks, it means that I get some really cool serotonin re-uptake inhibitors.

Security censorship classification

M (Moderate violence, moderate coarse language, moderate sex scene)

Surveillance time

129 minutes (2:09 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 17 November 2005

Cinema surveillance images

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