Title: The Water Diviner
Released: 3rd April 2015
Director: Russell Crowe
Genre: Drama, War
Rating: **** (4/5 stars)
About: Four years after the Battle of Gallipoli, Australian farmer Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) travels to Turkey to find his three sons, who never returned home from the war. When he arrives in Istanbul, he meets others who have also suffered losses: hotelier Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko) and her son, Orhan, who befriends Connor; and Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan), a Turkish officer who fought against Connor’s sons and now may be their father’s only hope in finding closure.
Review: This is a very impressive film and Russell Crowe is excellent on screen and off screen. Rarely does a movie pull you in so quickly and so deeply as this film does. It’s full of raw emotion, involving the love a father has for his three sons.
But my main issue with this film is that it doesn’t quite hit the spot. I know what it wanted to achieve, but it’s not perfect. It was released internationally one hundred years to the day that Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli and joined a bloody campaign – so obviously there is some sort of reason behind it. But it doesn’t quite work. Which is why I didn’t give it five stars.
And when I say it doesn’t work, it’s not just the timing of the release. The film at times feels a bit rushed or doesn’t flow properly, or sometimes the point doesn’t seem to have been thought and delved into further. It feels like it needs a bit more thought into it, just to make it perfect.
This is a film, though, that everyone should watch.
I feel that Crowe does better in front of the camera. Not that his directing skills are poor, I just feel that he is better at leading the scene when he is actually acting out the scene for the audience.
There is so much intensity that has been put into this films, that it can at some points be hard to watch. For example, there is a scene that involves the three brothers and it is completely brutal and heart-breaking because it also uses the other actors (acting as soldiers) to show the pain of war.
There is a bit of an argument in this film, as to whether or not war is good. I would say that war is, obviously, not good. But the father (Crowe) does say that at the beginning he told his sons to go to war for glory (I paraphrased that bit just to let you know). The sad part is that until he ‘lost’ his sons he still would have believed that war is good. He needed to feel others’ pain to truly understand the loss that war brings with it.
There is a lot that has been put into the film and it’s a shame that I have to say this, but it’s not perfect. Crowe has clearly poured his soul into this film and I can honestly say that it is a good film, it just needs tweaking here and there to be the perfect film.