The Water Diviner: Film Review

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Russell Crowe makes an impressive directorial debut in The Water Diviner, a drama about an Australian farmer Joshua (Crowe) who goes on a journey to recover the bodies of his three sons who were killed in battle in Gallipoli in Turkey.

The issue I had with the drama is that it did not have the impact I expected it to. I was getting prepared to cry because the direction of the film from the trailer made it seem like a real hard-hitting emotional rollercoaster but it wasn’t. Most of the twists were revealed in the trailer so you knew what was coming and most obstacles seemed to be solved pretty quickly. The stakes were never that high, not least because Joshua has his sixth ‘water diviner’ sense to help him locate his sons which means his search is not as helpless as you think.

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That being said Crowe brought great emotional weight to the film and I was equally impressed by newcomer Ryan Corr. It was refreshing to see Jai Courtney be a decent guy as opposed to all the American assholes he’s been playing of late. Olga Kurylenko didn’t have an awful amount to do and her onscreen son regularly stole their scenes as he was so damn adorable and charming. I also found the blossoming romance between them a bit strange and unrealistic.

What impressed me most was the sets and locations – this looks amazing whether it be the dry outback in Australia, Gallipoli or Istanbul. I liked the anti-war message as it is a sentiment I am onboard with, although this may not appeal to some. I enjoyed this very much but it is not memorable, which is a shame. It had all the ingredients to be this epic tale of fatherly love but it just fell short and I didn’t feel the danger or the sadness I wanted to.

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