Monday, September 22, 2008

The Constant Gardener - Movie Review

Last night my wife and I finally got around to watching the 2005 award winning The Constant Gardener.  A bit heavy handed at times (big drug companies are evil and governments are complicit in the attrocities), but I think the intent was to be heavy handed.  I knew it was going to be my blog post here as soon as we finished the movie, though.  There are two things I found very thought provoking about the movie.  [Might be some spoilers below!]

The first one is the relationship between Justin and Tessa.  Justin is our primary point-of-view character, and his imperfect knowledge of his marriage to Tessa is probably typical for someone of his somewhat introverted, self-efacing, and confidence-lacking personality.  He fails to communicate effectively with Tessa when their relationship has some challenges.  She also promotes this failing in their relationship by keeping her work secret from him, to protect him from the dangers of what she's doing.  One of the things I saw in their lesson, though, was that failed to enjoy their relationship with each other primarily because they failed to share themselves with each other.

There's  irony with Justin as the constant gardener, since he fails to tear out the weeds in the garden of a relationship that he and Tessa share... until that metaphoric scene where he's cleaning up the patio outside her London apartment.

I wonder if there isn't also another God-centric angle to the metaphor of the constant gardener.  I'm not suggesting that God's taking a personal hand in weeding and tending our lives, but God has certainly been likened to a gardener.  I think there's something to this, but perhaps I'll have to leave that to someone with a stronger theological background than mine to write a sermon out of.

My personal take away from the movie is the reminder to share myself and ask for other to share themselves with me in the relationships that I develop -- note that I'm an introvert and this is a struggle for me!  We have to open our eyes and look for the weeds if we hope to keep a clean garden. 

1 comment:

Stushie said...

It's a great movie, Paul. The justice through sacrifice theme at the very end would make an interesting Easter study.