The journal of Paul M. Watson.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Constant Gardener

Having watched and enjoyed The Constant Gardener I picked up the original John le Carre novel thinking the extra detail and development a book can provide would only make the story stronger. In parts the extra detail was helpful but overall the point, intensity and drama of the movie was quite lost in le Carre's ramblings. I have not read any of le Carre's other novels so perhaps this is normal.

Two aspects in particular I found lacking in the novel. The landscape of Kenya and the Sudan was brilliantly brought to life in the movie. In the book however I felt nothing of the Kibera slum, the stark Sudan lakes or the savanah of Kenya. The movie was particularly strong on this side but I have had as vivid images from books before, just not in this one. The other was the love affair between Tessa and Justin. Rachel Weisz did an excellent job (she won the Oscar for it) and the director portrayed such fine, loving, living scenes between the two that the meagre words in the novel left me cold.

So for once, a movie outdid the book.


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