March 02, 2015

The Water Diviner (2014)

The Water Diviner (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Russell Crowe
Country: Australia / Turkey / USA

Movie Review: With a screenplay by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios, the shabby “The Water Diviner” is a product of Russell Crowe whose direction and performance didn’t shine. Inspired by true events, his fictional feature-length debut often struggles to find the path for the heart, in spite of the noble tolerance and perseverance evinced by its main character. Joshua Connor (Crowe) got so happy when he found water in his dried Australian land, that he runs home in an effusive state to tell his wife, Eliza. It was noticeable right away that something was wrong with them because, instead of sharing his happiness, she starts yelling at him. Soon we realize that, four years before, the couple had lost their three sons in the battle of Gallipoli, Turkey. In consequence of the pain, Eliza takes her own life and Joshua travels to Turkey in order to locate the bodies of their boys and take them home, next to their mother’s grave. In Istanbul, he is conducted to a cozy hotel by a smart little boy, but is seen with suspicion by the kid’s mother, Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), who also had lost her husband in the mentioned battle. Joshua is taken to Gallipoli with expected difficulties, ironically conducted by Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan), an influential Turkish official who risks his own life to help. The possibility of one of his sons might still be alive was prognosticated early in the film, while flashbacks were recurrent to better clarify the past happenings, but not even the war was depicted in a convincing or exciting way to involve us. Playing with cultural differences and hazy romance, Crowe tries to push away any glimmer of sentimentality but ends up creating a soft exercise that becomes too dried on all fronts. It would be great if water could be found in this desert…

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