Film: The Water Diviner
Cast: Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko
Director: Russell Crowe
The last few months have witnessed a spate of war-themed movies. Now another superstar, Russell Crowe, steps behind the camera to chronicle the aftermath of the Battle of Gallipoli in which tens of thousands of Antipodeans were killed. Crowe portrays the lead role of an Australian farmer with a talent for finding water sources in arid landscapes. His debut feature is set in 1919, four years after the ill-fated invasion of the peninsula by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Grieving over the loss of his three sons, presumed dead in the trench warfare, he travels to Turkey to discover the fate of his children.
As the narrative progresses it loses its primary anti-war focus devolving instead into an Indiana Jones-like adventure complete with a massive dust storm and the assault on a speeding train. Nowhere in the league of Peter Weir’s monumental Gallipoli (1981), The Water Diviner is an earnest but largely lifeless viewing experience.