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Movie Review: The Water Diviner

A passionate tale of the great lengths a father would endure to find his missing children.

Review by @ErikaAshley

In Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner - a film based on true events - opens with a Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) and his wife Eliza (Jacqueline McKenzie), struggling with their day to day lives four years after their three sons go missing in action during the bloody Battle of Gallipoli in 1915. Joshua Connor an Australian farmer and water diviner, continues to live his empty life while his wife struggles accepting the fact that their children are most likely deceased. Eliza swiftly takes her life out of grief and leaves Joshua devastated. After being left widowed, Joshua promises to seek out his missing sons to bring them back home to be buried next to their mother. He then ventures alone to Turkey, the last known location of the boys, and begins the voyage to find his sons.

While on his mission Joshua comes across an inn in Istanbul where he meets a beautiful inn keeper, Ayesha (Olga Kurylenko) and her adorable son. They struggle like Joshua after the end of World War I as their main breadwinner and Ayesha’s husband still remains missing after having fought for the Ottoman Empire. However when they enter each other’s lives they are both given a new at love and hope for a better future. With the assistance from an unlikely source, and Joshua’s shear stubborn determination, and fatherly intuition Joshua locates his three boys and gets a second chance at life.

The Water Diviner is Russell Crowe’s directorial debut and a monumental undertaking that was received with outstanding praise. Being as though Crowe directed and starred as the main character it could be seen as an overzealous stroke for his ego but is well deserved with the great acting on his part and the supporting characters. The film is sprinkled with humor when needed to break of the gory war scenes. The beautiful relationships that evolve and resonate throughout are based on realistic tone that runs through the storyline and hits close to home for many viewers. The acting is amazing and full of fresh faces. The cinematography is so well thought out and the coloring really brings a warm feeling to what could be just another cold war story. The score will bring you to tears just at the right time. And, although the overall story is a classic hero’s journey viewers are rooting for every character and hardly forced to dislike anyone for very long.

You are taken on a realistic excursion that forces you to be a part of the story and forget you’re only watching a film. It’s been a long time since a drama has drawn me in so far that I forget I’ve sat in a theater for nearly two hours. And, at the end of the film viewers are able to sit back and sigh a breath of relief knowing that all is set right in the world. The Water Diviner and Crowe are gunning for an Oscar and there is a strong possibility that they will be draped in prestige and for good reason.

The Water Diviner has a runtime of 111 minutes and is Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images.

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