The Water Diviner DVD Review

DVD Review by Jon E Clist
The Water Diviner

The Premise
THE WATER DIVINER is an epic adventure set four years after the devastating battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. Australian farmer Connor (Crowe) travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his three sons, reported missing in the action, where he forges a relationship with the beautiful Turkish woman (Kurylenko) who owns the hotel in which he stays. THE WATER DIVINER is an extraordinary tale of love, faith and heroism.
The Review
Russell Crowe is one of those actors that you either love or dislike and in some cases perhaps there are people who probably even fall into the hate category. Yet there is no denying that he is a cinematic powerhouse. Just ask the directors that he has worked with and see the results he has brought to the box office. Consider the success Ridley Scott found with Gladiator and likewise Ron Howard with A Beautiful Mind. Two great films featuring two completely different but equally as intense performances from Crowe. With The Water Diviner we see not only another jaunt from Crowe in front of the camera but also from behind with his directorial debut.

It certainly makes sense that he would wait for such an epic story to have a go at making a film. It is a case of putting your best foot forward and when you have had such a successful career as Crowe you would definitely have the money and resources available to you to do this kind of story justice. Most actors who venture into directing have to do it on a more modest budget first before they get the opportunity to direct a more larger scale film. Then again there is nothing small about Russell Crowe when it comes to personality or film.

The Water Diviner is the story of great unbearable loss and the struggle to overcome it. Not only does Crowe do a great job pulling together a great emotional performance out of himself as a man who would travel halfway around the world to find the bodies of his dead sons, he also brings some great performances out of the rest of the cast. Olga Kurylenko is great as the Turkish widow in denial, whose anger towards the foreigners must be overcome as she must face her own loss.

While starting in the Australian outback, the scenes are sweeping and beautifully shot and this continues as the location moves to Gallipoli and the battlefields of death. With plenty of flashback scenes to give context to all the action and drama, I certainly felt there was a good solid amount of backstory, present action and dramatic tension to keep you focused visually and emotionally.
The Verdict
One of the most emotionally moving pictures that I have seen this year and for some reason made my allergies kick in and hence my eyes began to water at times. A must see and a triumphant first visit to directing for Crowe.
The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 22nd April 2015
Rating: M – Contains violence
Duration: 111 minutes
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Russell Crowe
Director: Russell Crowe (Debut Feature Film)
The Extras
Director Russell Crowe wanted Cem Yilmaz for his role because he was very familiar with his talent. In fact they got along really well Russell Crowe tweeted "darling Cem you are not funny these days" as a joke in Turkish.
Russell Crowe liked the coffee that a runner made so much, that he only wanted to get coffee from him.
Russell Crowe's directorial debut.
Aussie/American Mel Gibson was in the original movie Gallipoli.