Starring Ralph Fiennes, this is the story of a mild-mannered British diplomat, Justin Quayle, living in Kenya who has to solve the murder of his wife, Tessa, who was an Amnesty activist. Fiennes is perfect (but then he always is) and we are presented with a well-rounded story which has the ability to throttle you several times throughout the duration.
I don’t usually go for this sort of film, but after seeing this I really want to watch similar films and explore the genre further. It also includes other plot arcs to do with suspicious drug trials, corruption, hypocrisy and poverty. Ralph Fiennes was spellbinding in his role and Rachel Weisz was interested as the strong minded wife of Justin. From the moment they met during a lecture, you knew it was a good pairing. Good, yet understated.
I expected for the story to be preachy and unfulfilling or at least uninteresting. However, I was on the edge of my seat during the whole film and was awed as each scene unfolded. It brings up so many issues but makes it relevant and doesn’t set out to patronize you. It makes you want to do something about it, and that’s the most important thing.
The cinematography was very beautiful and yet haunting at the same time.
I found it very sad at the end, and this surprised me because rarely do thrillers do this. Before, I couldn’t really force myself to care about characters whose only purpose was to die. You could see that at the end, Justin only wanted to be with his wife again.
Ralph Fiennes is and always will be a top-class actor. He makes a character his own and as a result gives astounding performances. Even in this film, he was just superb and could show so much emotion so beautifully – happiness, despair, joy. Coupled with his recognizable voice, I hope he continues acting for many years to come.
MY RATING: 4 / 5.