Tuesday, 21 April 2015


The Water Diviner Movie Review

Story: The film is set in the immediate aftermath of World War 1. At his wife Eliza's (McKenzie) urging, Joshua (Crowe) travels from Australia to Turkey to locate and recover the remains of their three soldier sons who fell in Gallipoli. Eliza is mentally affected by the loss of her kids and Joshua is wracked with guilt for letting them go and fight in the war.

Review: Crowe's feature film directorial debut is an amalgam of two fairly distinct narratives blended together. One is Joshua's trip to Turkey to unearth the remains of his children. A humble water diviner, he faces a lot of resistance in this regard from Captain Charles Brindley (Wyllie), an archetypal pompous officer. But the Australian (ANZAC) Lt-Col Cyril Hughes (Courtney, wonderfully nuanced and mustachioed) is willing to bend the rules. He also strikes up an unlikely friendship with Major Hasan (Erdo─čan) 
Joshua is led by the hand of fate in the form of a boy named Orhan (Georgiades) to a hotel run by his mother Ayshe (Kurylenko, ravishing) to stay at while Connor goes about his search.

Crowe's character is the typical strong, silent type - he can play this role with consummate ease by now. We also see token political messages thrown in, such as flashes of Turkish nationalist sentiment, resentment regarding British military presence and invading Greeks out for a sizable slice of Turkey.

Then there is the blossoming love story between Joshua and Ayshe that is telegraphed from the minute they inhabit the same frame. Ayshe has her own issues but her effect on Joshua occasionally steers Diviner into mush-fest territory. Some parts also resemble a tourism promo for 'Exotic Turkey'. This is not to say, however, that the camera work capturing old Istanbul (Andrew Lesnie, The Lord of the Rings trilogy) is not gorgeous. The Gallipoli battlefield scenes are also haunting. Truth be told, Crowe's undeniable screen presence adds gravity to the film and he manages to make you empathize with his grief and the doggedness of his search, against all odds. 


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