The Constant Gardener at Hoyts, Broadway

It took me a while to get into The Constant Gardener. I found the handheld camera work distancing rather than engaging, and possibly that was why I couldn’t get really interested in any of the characters. Eventually I got caught up in the story, but not as much as I would have liked. On At the Movies, David and Margaret both admired the “combination of the love story and the political thing”. The two sides of the film are certainly well meshed, but ultimately I didn’t find either of them quite fulfilling.

I’ve only actually read one Le Carre book – The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. It was when I was doing the Pulp Fiction course at uni – it was the last book on the course, and I felt this incredible sense of Le Carre being on a whole different literary level from the other authors. It didn’t inspire me to read his other books – Spy Who Came in From the Cold was a bit too depressing for my taste – but it did give me a level of respect for what he was doing in the genre. The political thriller side of The Constant Gardener film seemed to lack the the depths and subtleties of Spy Who Came in From the Cold (which may or may not have been in the book of Constant Gardener) but at the same time it was too dark to be enjoyable in the same way as, say, the film of The Bourne Identity. So it just didn’t, quite, work for me.

I liked the idea of the love story taking place after her death, as his increasing knowledge of him makes him understand and love her more. But because it took me so long to get engaged with the characters, it didn’t quite work either.

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