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The Water Diviner

Coming Soon

Russell Crowe makes his directorial debut with a war period piece called The Water Diviner. (Very loosely) based on the true story of an Australian farmer, the film documents Joshua’s pursuit to find his three sons who left for World War I, but went missing during the Battle of Gallipoli. Although presumed dead, Joshua made a promise to their mother, his wife, that he would bring them home no matter what. This is the chronicle of what one father endured in order keep his word and make his family whole again no matter the obstacles.

Upon learning that Russell Crowe was crossing over into directing, I had my concerns. Many actors have tried, but only a small percentage are successful. This new trend lends very little respect in regards to the audiences’ time, specifically, long runtimes. While Clint Eastwood is thriving as a director he seems unable to get his point across in under 150 minutes. Just because most theaters have luxurious seating doesn’t mean people want to be in them for three hours at a time. Thankfully Crowe did not fall into this particular pitfall, at least not with The Water Diviner, as the runtime was a manageable 111 minutes.

Russell Crowe is not only the director of The Water Diviner but he also stars as the protagonist, Joshua Connor. Starring alongside him are Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Yilmaz Erdogan and Cem Yilmaz. The acting is pretty solid. The same can be said for production design. It all feels authentic, as if you’re standing right alongside these people in the early 1900’s.

The story itself was interesting and engaging. There are many short flashback sequences to assist with backstory, but used solely for emotional depth. There are parts that drag, as well as times you find yourself questioning the validity of what your eyes are seeing. It didn’t however, detract from the overall enjoyment of the movie.

“It’s all about the journey, not the destination.”

During his journey Joshua interacts with many people, some of who may seem trivial at the time, but they have an everlasting effect on his views of life. With every ending comes the potential for new beginnings; The Water Diviner portrays this in various ways. Taking the story for face value should provide some entertainment as well as shining much needed light on some of the other lesser known battles that many Americans have never really known about. The events that transpired in Turkey during a four year stretch in the early 1900’s are ones worth hearing about, and seeing, as is this movie.

The Water Diviner is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler


  1. I did enjoy The Water Diviner more than I expected. I think Russell Crowe did a good job directing for his first time out.

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