I had the chance to take in Russell Crowe’s latest this weekend. If you blinked, you might have missed it. Here in the USA, THE WATER DIVINER had very little advertising and the TV trailer showed just enough to leave me thinking that I still didn’t know entirely what the movie was about.
The film obviously stars Russell Crowe, but what you may not know is that its essentially his directorial debut as well (big screen Hollywood, that is, unless you want to count his prior documentaries and short video).
So what’s the verdict, right? Did Crowe create something masterful to stand in toe with his accolades of acting past? Well personally, I don’t think it was a bad movie, and I think overall it was a pretty good flick. There are a couple parts that may have dragged or felt like it was too much character development. However, I think any and all of that could be debated. Crowe’s acting is top notch as always and the leading lady is played by Olga Kurylenko, who is both beautiful and charming combined. It was a fun flick, but at times just felt “all over the place” — and I’m not talking about locale (in which it was), but probably in part that some parts just seemed to be stuff that was typical or cliché to some movies we’ve already seen in the past.
However, the story is “based on true events” and I think Crowe, being the Aussie, wanted to bring a story that has Australian history (in which he did) and also one that hasn’t been told before. If I’m mistaken, fill me in, but personally I haven’t seen this story on the big screen. So I’m not really going to bash any parts for being cliché when I’m misinformed about the actual true story, ’cause perhaps they all happened that way.
The story in question is that of being the back drop of World War I where it’s four years past the “death of Crowe’s characters’ three sons” in the war with Australia and Turkey. The Turkish Commander is helping the Australians identify graves from the war and Crowe (the farmer) shows up wanting to take his sons’ remains back home to be buried in their home land. All the while are many hurdles, struggles, and more war that ensues…
Why anyone would want to release their film on the heels of FURIOUS 7 and in the light of AVENGERS 2 is beyond me. Perhaps that was a cheaper slot. If not, it was horrible timing and unfortunately will make this film go a bit more unnoticed then it should. While it may not be the epic that is GLADIATOR was, it’s definitely worth a watch and a purchase for many Crowe fans and fans of war-based themed genre movies.