Metal Life Review Of Russell Crowe’s Directorial Debut “The Water Diviner”
Russell Crowe’s directorial debut “The Water Diviner,” a film based on true events that tells the story of a grief stricken father searching for his sons in war torn post WWI Turkey, has just been released stateside on Blu Ray/DVD. While the film saw a limited run in theaters here and abroad, for this reviewer, it was well worth the wait to own it.
With its compelling yet touching storyline, incredible cast, and beautiful scenery, Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, “The Water Diviner,” certainly shines as a stand out movie of 2014. The film is set in post World War I Australia circa 1919, four years after the grisly battle at Gallipoli. Crowe plays Joshua Connor, a farmer with a talent for finding water in the desperately dry countryside, who has lost all three of his sons to the war in 1915. Connor’s wife, played by Jacqueline McKenzie, is unable to cope with the grief of her sons’ deaths, and takes her own life. The guilt of losing his sons and wife drives Connor to search for the remains of his children on the battlefields of Gallipoli, in hopes of bringing them home to be buried with their mother.
Connor’s travels take him to Istanbul, Turkey to search for the battlefield where his sons made their last stand. While there, he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Ayshe (played by Olga Kurylenko,) an innkeeper trying to make peace with the death of her husband from the war while raising her son, maintaining her business, and keeping the foreign farmer at an arm’s length. Many cultural and political issues are touched on throughout the film, including the tremendous and inexcusable loss of life to both sides during the battle at Gallipoli and the clash of societal norms as Conner and Ayshe grow close.
Joshua is not alone in his search, as he befriends two Turkish officers along the way, played by Cem Yilmaz and Yilmaz Erdogan, who were at the battle of Gallipoli and play key roles in not only helping Conner find his sons’ remains, but discovering that his oldest son was still alive. To say the film tugs at a parent’s heart strings is an understatement.
The film has seen incredible success in Australia, winning numerous awards including Best Film, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Costume Design. The film was also was named the highest grossing Australian-produced film of 2014 and has been well received world wide. While reviews may be mixed, this significant undertaking by Crowe is an exceptional film that needs to be experienced. Each and every cast member owns their role so well, you forget the individual and become engrossed in the character. Plus, it is quite apparent the actors where truly enjoying themselves. That is a rarity. I highly recommend “The Water Diviner” to anyone who enjoys authentic storylines with a very real human touch.