The Water Diviner (2014) Movie Review

Director: Russell Crowe

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.

PerformancesRussell 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.

StoryThe 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.

WarThe 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.

SettingsThe 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.

Scene of the Movie – Cricket.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The war scenes are safe scenes, not edgy for the truth about what happened.

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.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – G – Girls of the Sun (2018) Recommendation

This is just a recommendation, this is a shocking look at the brutality the women faced in Kurdish war.

Director: Eva Husson

Writer: Eva Husson, Jacques Akchoti (Screenplay)

Starring: Golshifteh Farahani, Emmanuelle Bercot, Zubeyde Bulut, Sinema Alievi, Mari Semidovi, Roza Mirzoiani

Plot: A Kurdish female battalion prepares to take back their town from extremists.

Tagline – Inspired by the True Story of the Female Firefighters Who Dared to Take On ISIS

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

ABC Film Challenge – Action – J – Jarhead Law of Return (2019) Movie Thoughts

Director: Don Michael Paul

Writer: Don Michael Paul (Screenplay)

Starring: Amaury Nolasco, Devon Sawa, Jeff Pierre, Ben Cross, Amos Taman, Yael Eitan, Robert Patrick

Plot: Ronan, a fighter pilot and Israeli by Law of Return, is shot down and captured in Syria after a mission. As he’s a US senator’s son, a joint Israeli US squad’s sent in to rescue Ronan within 36 hours.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Jarhead: Law of Return starts when fighter pilot Ronan (Sawa) is shot down in Syria, the US know the problem with him being captured because he is the son of the US Senator Jackson (Patrick), the US look to send in GySgt Torres (Nolasco) and his squad, joined by a specialist Israeli squad to go behind enemy lines to rescue Ronan.

What we see is the unit working together to plan a rescue, while Ronan must use his training to keep his true identity secret from the world.

Thoughts on Jarhead: Law of Return

Final Thoughts How the Jarhead movies have turned into some loosely connected franchise is beyond me, each one brings a brand new story, this time it mixes Behind Enemy Lines with the Jarhead soldiers, seeing a unit needing to rescue a captured pilot. This doesn’t bring anything new to the military movies, it does everything it needs to, to be watchable, without giving us any truly engageable characters. The performances in the film are fine without anyone looking out of place, with the squad showing strong chemistry together, while most of the action is plenty of flying bullets without being anything but a lot of shaky cam to deal with the movements. This isn’t going to go down as one that will be remembered long after seeing and it doesn’t come close to any of the previous ‘save a soldier’ style movies.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – U – Das Boot (1981) Movie Review

We are under U because Das Boot is about a U-Boat.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Wolfgang Petersen (Screenplay) Lothar G Buchheim (Novel)

Starring: Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Gronemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge

Plot: The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.

Tagline – Hitler sent out 40,000 men aboard German U-Boats during World War 2. Less than 10,000 returned.

Runtime: 2 Horus 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant

Story: Das Boot starts as a war correspondent Lt Werner (Gronemeyer) joins the crew of Captain-Lt Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock’s (Prochnow) U-Boat during World War II, looking to create a story about the success of the U-Boat side of the war, the crew are a rowdy group, if they are not drinking on shore leave, they are pull pranks on the newest crew members.

Once out at sea, the crew must face the reality of the dangers of war, destroyers roaming the open water, attacks to the ship and showing just how deadly being in a submarine through the war would have been.

Thoughts on Das Boot

Final Thoughts When is comes to wartime movies, we know we need to get to know a crew, unit and soldier before going forward with the story, here we meet the crew, we have the typical line up, where we have the stricter, jokey and the nervous ones, each gets there moment to show why they are making certain decision during the journey. We get the high level of peril when the attacks happen, showing us just how claustrophobic the environment would be for the crew, how much they ricked to get the upper hand, while showing us the important information that three quarters of U-Boat crew never returned home from the war. This is on the epic scale because we do spend time learning more about the crew, while they might come off reckless, when it comes to dealing with the operation to survive they will show the loyalty to win the battles they find themselves in.

Overall: Epic War Movie.

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 10 – War

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 10 – War

Plot: Amid growing challenge to her power, Thatcher fights for her position. Charles grows more determined to separate from Diana as their marriage unravels.

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: War starts when prime minster Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) sees one of her closest follows turn on her in the houses of parliament, leaving her position of power in jeopardy, while Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) is looking to finally end his marriage to Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) after it becomes clear Diana has started having an affair again. As Margaret Thatcher is shown the door, her respect from the Queen is finally earned, putting aside their differences which have plagued her time as Prime Minister, while Charles and Diana finally end their marriage showing their true colours, with Charles finally admitting he always wanted to be with Camila and never Diana.

Thoughts on The Crown – Season Four – Episode 10 – War

Thoughts – War brings the season four to a close by bringing everything full circle with the relationships between Prince Charles and Princess Diana falling apart, and Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s respect shining through their differences. We get the lead four stars of the season, Olivia Colman, Gillian Anderson, Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor, giving the strongest performances of the season to date. This season has focused more heavily on relationships more than anything else, which will see how many of them have gone from strength to strength, while others have been shattered over time.

Final Thoughts War completes a wonderful season giving the major players their final chance to shine in the season, reflecting the seasons theme of relationships. 5/5