Monday, April 24, 2006

Not supposed to be a review of the Constant Gardner

I never got back to posting last night as "The Constant Gardner" had arrived from the Amazon DVD rental service, and Malcolm and I decided to watch it after I finished being in taxi mode. This is a bit of a turn-up for the books -- usually we cannot watch movies that we don't want to see with the girls because by the time they are in bed we can't stay awake for another hour or two (given the time we have to get up in the morning). However, last night, Cathy was already watching a DVD on her own laptop (Enigma -- she's studying GCSE history so relevant, right?) and Jenny was absorbed in Flickr/Fruits Basket. A girl called Molly from the USA had swapped some of her Fruits Basket pictures with Jenny's, so their interactivity kept Jenny happy for the couple of hours it took to watch the movie (and would have done for longer had we let it!). I'm not going to review the movie here because my reactions to it are fairly similar to those I've read elsewhere. I did enjoy it, but felt it did not live up to its own moral position. Also I found the incriminating letters by senior diplomats skilled in the devious arts, conveniently hand-written on office notepaper, were unbelievable in the context of the movie. And out of the context of the movie, I just don't think government officials or drug companies are as evil as portrayed. I am happy to believe there are serious problems in both areas, but not happy to believe that they are all part of a global conspiracy that requires anyone challenging them to be murdered. But the acting was good (that annoying woman played by Rachel Weisz was just the kind of person I've met a few times), and the usual crew of excellent acting Brits did their bit. I felt a bit sick at the hand-held camera technique, and uncomfortable at the general smugness of the main couple's lifestyle versus their politics. But I should stop moaning; the movie is a good deal better than most; it was serious in intent and I did think it a worthy effort. And in the end it was a true tragedy. If you only see 10 movies a year, I recommend this as one of them. Malcolm says the book is a lot better, and more subtle, than the film. I haven't read the book; I used to enjoy all Le Carre's and read them as they came out, but I was disappointed by his last couple so stopped. Now I have gone and reviewed the darn movie so will have to stop this post and start another one to post what I was going to post about.