January 11, 2006

The Constant Gardener - good but some reservations

I orginally posted this as a comment on DVD Town (to their review of The Constant Gardener). But I thought I'd put it up here ... for what it's worth:

I just watched the film and I'm a little ... uncertain what I think. I liked the it, i'm just not sure how much I liked it.

I've read the novel and wish I hadn't - I'd prefer to see a film without preconceptions. Still, I suspect having read the novel doesn't affect the viewing all that much. The visual style, however, does.

While I had no problem in the second half of the film, once it had decided to settle on Ralph Fiennes' character, in the first half I found the documentary style (for lack of a better word) simply compounded what was already a confusing exposition.

So I'm not so sure I give this a big stylistic thumbs up. I think it might have played better with a more conventional style. I think in the first half there is simply too much information to convey for this kind of approach. I think the style, as a style, is fine but requires a more simple story to work effectively.

As you've mentioned, both in the movie and the book, the relationship is easily the most compelling element of the story. The drug company thing ... well, that's the usual movie stuff. But the relationship - now that was compelling.

But I'll have to watch it again before I decide.

Tag: , ,

No comments: