Favorite

Review: The Water Diviner 

click to enlarge water-diviner.jpg

THE WATER DIVINER

**1/2

Taking a page or 12 from the playbooks of Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner and other A-list actors who decided to try their hand at directing on an epic scale, Russell Crowe makes his own feature-film debut with The Water Diviner, a sincere if dramatically shaky picture set after the close of World War I. Crowe stars as Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer who journeys to Turkey with the intention of locating the bodies of his three sons and bringing them home.

All were presumably killed in the Battle of Gallipoli, but Joshua is informed that civilians are not allowed at Gallipoli, which is now one massive graveyard. Undaunted, Joshua is determined to follow through on his mission, receiving unlikely assistance along the way from a Turkish officer (Yilmaz Erdogan) who commanded enemy troops at Gallipoli and a war widow (Quantum of Solace Bond girl Olga Kurylenko) who’s managing a hotel in Istanbul.

Unlike Costa-Gavras’ exemplary 1982 film Missing, this isn’t a muck-raking expose as much as it’s a personal tale told against an international canvas. That’s not to say the movie doesn’t comment (subtly and otherwise) on the absurdity of armed conflict, but it’s clearly more interested in following Joshua as he undergoes his arduous task against impossible odds.

But the more Joshua searches, the sillier the film becomes, as the palpable sense of loss and regret that hangs over the first half like a London fog eventually dissipates in the wake of more conventional elements (daring escapes! last-minute rescues! a lady for every fella!) that seem at odds with the more elegant movie the actor-director was apparently trying to make. The Water Diviner qualifies as a valiant, even worthwhile, effort, even if in the long run it’s nothing to, err, crow about.

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for The Water Diviner

Favorite

More by Matt Brunson

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect Today 12.17.2017

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    The Last Jedi is very much its own entity, exploring new routes as it teases out themes that have always been present in the Skywalker saga. In the debit column, it’s also a tad bloated, and it contains an almost risible number of false endings —
    • Dec 12, 2017
  • Review: Coco
  • Review: Coco

    Coco opens by following the traditional toon template of a person following their dreams against all odds, but once Miguel reaches the Land of the Dead, the movie deepens in satisfying and even unexpected ways.
    • Dec 6, 2017
  • Review: Last Flag Flying
  • Review: Last Flag Flying

    Last Flag Flying is proudly pro-soldier and anti-war, and real American patriots will grasp it at once.
    • Nov 21, 2017
  • More »

The Most: Read | Shared | Comments

Movies This Week

More Filmtimes

or

Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2017, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
Website powered by Foundation