Written by / 4/28/2015 / No comments / , , ,

RUSSELL CROWE DIRECTS AND STARS IN THE WATER DIVINER

year: 2015 rating: ***
Some of us who are more well viewed than well read only know history through cinema, and anyone who has experienced the Australian anti war epic GALLIPOLI, directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson and Mark Lee has, as viewers, been through the ringer, in droves. And now actor and first time feature-length director Russell Crowe turns the tables while providing a brand new setting as THE WATER DIVINER serves up tea and sympathy back in Turkey, four years after the bloody battle.

While centering on Crowe’s Connor, a hopeless widower on a journey to locate and bury his three dead soldier sons, it’s more of an overall chance to make amends – to the Turks. For example, a cold Catholic priest, where Connor owns a sparse Australian farm and has the ability to seek out water beneath dead soil, refuses to bury his wife on sacred ground – far contrasting from the Turkish Muslim locals who provide help later on, but not without obstacles including sporadic bouts of racism towards Connor, who, upon arrival, winds up at a quaint hotel owned by a much too beautiful widow; although Olga Kurylenko is a good actress and makes the role work despite seeming a bit too... Hollywoodish. Yet the real connections are between Connor and her resilient son, and especially a wise Turkish major played by Yilmaz Erdogan, a sort of Omar Sharif to Crowe’s quiet yet strong-willed "Lawrence".

While not a perfect film, often brooding too long in arthouse sentiment whenever the potential for suspense or adventure arises, there is a quaint, gentle aura to the historic location and the characters absorbing it.
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