In a remote area of Northern Kenya, activist Tessa Quayle is found brutally murdered. Tessa’s companion, a doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Members of the British High Commission in Nairobi assume that Tessa’s widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle, will leave the matter to them. They could not be more wrong. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumors of his late wife’s infidelities, Quayle surprises everyone by embarking on a personal odyssey that will take him across three continents. Using his privileged access to diplomatic secrets, he will risk his own life, stopping at nothing to uncover and expose the truth – a conspiracy more far-reaching and deadly than Quayle could ever have imagined.
User Reviews: I walked away from The Constant Gardener wondering how drug companies actually bench test their drugs. (The current Vioxx settlement certainly inspired cynicism) This is a thriller for the thinking crowd with sufficient chase scenes and action sequences to justify the genre. It’s paced slower then the average Grisham or Ludlum (Jason Bourne) movies I’ve come to love. But if you’re interested in the stark realities of how medicines are tested in third world nations without having to endure negative consequences, this is a film you will want to see. It purports to reveal real-world events from Africa.
Pharmaceutical company corporate greed and compromised government ethics set the mood as Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz (on separate courses) do what they can to reveal the corruption spinning all around them. Fiennes is a British diplomat who understands what it takes to succeed in a compromising diplomatic position. Weisz refuses to give in. She’s on a mission to reveal the truth – taking the political activist route – from the moment they meet. Fiennes is a love interest to the luscious Weisz, someone who offers an opportunity to cut the red tape and speed the truth about the mischief to which the drug company(s) are up to in Africa.
It’s a brilliant movie showcasing how third world countries are (or can be) exploited. It deals with how a major pharmaceutical firm conducts harmful tests on ignorant, unsuspecting Kenyans. We see the other side of Africa the side unseen in the enticing Kenyan safari tourist posters.
This is a thriller that thrills both the mind as well as the spirit. It left me wondering, "how close to the truth did they actually come?"