There was a time when Russell Crowe was hot and happening, what with the Oscar win and starring in consecutive Best Picture winners. However, those times are long gone and the Aussie actor has been starring in films directed by rappers. Maybe he is bored with the lack of attention and fame, which is in contrast to just over a decade back, which is why he has donned the director’s hat for The Water Diviner.
First, to the title, which means a person who can find water in the middle of nowhere by pointing his stick. This is enough to set the alarms bell ringing, as you would start wondering who wants to see a man looking for water. Well, thankfully, the movie is more than just that. In what can be seen as a rehash of Gladiator, Crowe’s character loses his family, his sons dying in the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915 and his wife killing herself out of depression.
This is where the Gladiator reference ends though, as Crowe heads over to Istanbul to bring home the remains of his sons. After spending a lot of time digging, he finds the ID tags of two of his sons. It is then he is alerted to the possibility of his third son being alive. Moreover, the person who is helping him look for his son is the man who ordered the death of the other two.
As far as direction is concerned, Crowe needs a lot more work (maybe being inspired by a certain Mr. Ridley Scott, he of Prometheus and The Counselor isn’t the way to go). Even his performance seems like a redo of his Oscar-winning turn in Gladiator. Overall, The Water Diviner is a yawnfest. Watch it only if you have a couple of hours to kill and you can tolerate Russell Crowe mumbling and bumbling on screen for a majority of that.
Photo credit: The Water Diviner