DVD REVIEW: The Constant Gardener

Movie •••½ Picture/Sound •••½ Extras •••
A British diplomat in Kenya (Ralph Fiennes) investigates the murder of his activist wife (Rachel Weisz). In doing so, he uncovers truths about the white man's exploitation of Africa that are even nastier than you might imagine. Although far-fetched in places, this is one of the better adaptations of a John le Carré novel because of director Fernando Meirelles's passionate identification with both its conflicted hero and the people his wife died trying to help. The picture is most notable for the striking differences between the bright, blazingly colorful images of Africa and the gray, washed-out shots of Europe. Both have great detail on this DVD. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is equally dramatic, with pinpoint placement of effects and atmospheric use of the surround channels. Extras include some deleted scenes and a couple of nice making-of featurettes. [R] English, Dolby Digital 5.1; letterboxed (1.85:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.