Writer: Andrew Knight, Andrew Anastasios (Screenplay)
Starring: Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko, Ylimaz Erdogan, Cem Yilmaz, Jai Courtney, Dylan Jett Georgiades, Steve Castoni, Isabel Lucas
Plot: An Australian man travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons.
Tagline – To honour a promise. To find his sons. To make his peace.
Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Water Diviner starts with the end of the battle for Gallipoli where the Turkish soldier won, 4-years later Australian Connor (Crowe) has still not learned the fate of the three children who fought in the battle believed to have died, but his wife still waits for them, before killing herself in grief. Connor gives up his whole life to travel to Turkey in search of his children to fulfil the final wish of his wife.
Once in Turkey, Connor finds only paperwork holding him back from finding his boys, turning to a local Ayshe (Kurylenko) who has her own hatred to anybody who came from the British Empire, but the unlikely union helps him go on the moment he needs to get complete closure in his life with the help of two sides that fought there, Major Hasan (Erdogan) and LT Colonel Hughes (Courtney).
Thoughts on The Water Diviner
Characters – Connor is a father of three from Australia, he has spent his time in his homeland discovering water in the deserts and after his three children are believed to have died in the battle of Gallipoli, he has seen his wife grieve slowly and painfully. He decides to travel to Turkey in search of his son’s remains where he gets to see and discover the truth about what happened in the battle. Ayshe is a local women in Turkey, she has seen her husband die in the war, but hasn’t told her son, she doesn’t like anyone from the British side of the war, only to learn it might be her own culture holding her life back after her own tragedy. Major Hasan led the enemy into battle, he was involved in countless deaths and now is helping identify the dead, he sees Connor’s story and will help him learn about the truth.
Performances – Russell Crowe is brilliant here both on front and behind the camera, making us see the pain the war bought to a man that never went to war, but saw his sons die there, as well as the relief of learning the truth. Olga Kurylenko is the best she has been before, showing she has the talent to achieve much more in her career. Yilmaz Erdogan might be the only unknown for the casual fan and he shines through the film too.
Story – The story here follows one man that travels across the world to learn what happened to his sons in the battle of Gallipoli in an attempt to get closure in his life, what he discovers only brings him new hope in the world, despite being trapped in a war torn country. This is based on a true story and shows just how much damage the battle did to one man’s family and multiply countries that lost men in the war. What will make this incredible story standout is the determination that Connor showed to learn the truth and just what it meant to him after losing his wife to grief. We can always talk about the heroes of war, but we will also struggle to face the truth that not everybody came back and the ones who lost people will be forever changed. This story shows us that despite being on opposite sides, they are all humans and death will leave a scar on the people left behind no matter what.
War – The film does focus more on the consequences of war, showing us just how the lives have been changed and just because it is over, doesn’t it is over for the people who lost loved ones.
Settings – The film does create beautiful settings as well as showing us the battlefields years after the war, this shows us that memories will always be left on this field.
Final Thoughts – This is an incredible story of one man desire to learn about his children, showing that even when the war is over, the truth could be different to what you expect.
Overall: Brilliant from Crowe.