Movie Review: The Water Diviner... Russell Crowe Should Crow About
The filming of Istanbul and the Turkish countryside is spectacular as is the authenticity of the turn of the century sets and period costumes. Dark sepia tones dominate the film and create the somber mood as Connor travels from Australia to Turkey by boat, horseback and antiquated locomotive. The acting of the entire cast of relative unknowns is first rate.
Recently on CBS Sunday Morning Crowe said how he longed for the day when he could only direct. He had to cast himself as the star in The Water Diviner because he needed to do so to get financing. Crowe said, "Directing was the most complete experience because so much is under your control. This is the language I speak."
The writing by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios is original and uses flash backs to fill in the gaps in the story line which moves quickly. The folly and futility of war are the themes of The Water Diviner as well as a faith based perseverance. Pity the ending is flawed, and has a scotch tape feel to it in an otherwise heart wrenching tale.
The Turkish actor Yilmaz Erdogan as Major Hasan is particularly outstanding. Major Hasan could possibly have killed Connors sons and yet they form a friendship that defies the hatred that is normally associated with the wartime enemy. Spectacular beauty and Quantum of Solace Bond girl Olga Kurylenko as Ayshe portrays a widow and adds a much needed love interest to an occasionally too bleak scenario.
What bothered me was the implausibility of a man searching for his sons' corpses and being willing to uproot his life from is vast farm in the Australian Outback to chase helter skelter to Turkey for charred remains. But his journey justifies my inaccurately perceived futility. This is Hollywood in the Outback with a sojourn to Istanbul folks! Just go with it. If feeling good is to your liking, see The Water Diviner.