Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner shows the war through many eyes [Review]

Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner shows the war through many eyes [Review]

Russell Crowe's directorial debut The Water Diviner is a powerful reminder of how devastating war is.

Crowe plays Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer who travels to Turkey to recover the bodies of his three sons, all of whom are thought to have died in the first world war's Battle of Gallipoli.

Connor trusts his heart will bring him to his sons. Doing so, he builds a shy romance with hotel owner Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko) and forms a camaraderie with Major Hasan (a brilliant Yilmaz Erdogan), who won the battle that killed Connor's sons.

Opening with a battle scene from the Turkish perspective, the film depicts how war affects both the victorious and the defeated. As you get to know the characters and the threats they face, you suddenly realise how indifferent you felt watching soldiers being shot down in the opening scenes.

Crowe's performance is subtle, but Kurylenko is not convincing as a woman forced to marry her late husband's brother. The bilingual characters were also awkward as they switch between English and Turkish.

These drawbacks are compensated by Andrew Lesnie's cinematography, which is instrumental in bringing out the emotions of the story.

Our world is still at war; we could all do with a reminder of the plight many people are still suffering today.

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Seeing war through many eyes


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