The Water Diviner

Not rated yet!
Director
Russell Crowe
Runtime
1 h 52 min
Release Date
25 December 2014
Genres
War, Drama
Overview
In 1919, Australian farmer Joshua Connor travels to Turkey to discover the fate of his three sons, reported missing in action. Holding on to hope, Joshua must travel across the war-torn landscape to find the truth and his own peace.
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John Hanlon2
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Water Diviner
    Woman in Gold Movie Poster Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner is a notably ambitious historical drama that showcases Crowe’s talents behind and in front of the camera. The Oscar-winning Australian actor directs and stars in the film about a...
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    (Review Source)
  • The Movies of 2015
    (”The Water Diviner” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The end of 2016 is quickly approaching. With that in mind, patient I went back and created a list of all of the films that I reviewed this year and the different ratings I gave them. Of course, story this isn’t a complete list of all of the films I saw this year....
    ...
    (Review Source)

Plugged In1
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Water Diviner
    WarRomanceDrama We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewThe earth keeps her secrets. And in the parched, red dirt of Australia, water is the most precious secret at all—one held most jealously. Only a rare few, like Joshua Connor, can suss it out with a pair of rods and a strange sixth sense. He holds the rods, follows where they point and starts to dig. Sometimes he carves out nothing but a big, dusty hole. He'll admit as much. But if he's right, he'll strike liquid treasure. Not so long ago, Connor might've passed his dowsing on to his boys. He had three, once—lads who caught rabbits and built windmills and listened to their father read Arabian Nights over and over. But in 1915, in the teeth of World War I, all three went off to fight in the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey). They died on the same day, Connor and wife Eliza are told: August 7. The military returns their personal belongings—a blood-spattered diary among them. But they can't bring back the bodies, lost in the earth of Gallipoli. No one knows where they are. The loss rips at Eliza's sanity. Sometimes she believes her boys are alive and home, and she forces Connor to read to their empty beds. Then she'll feel their absence with terrible, keen pain. "You lost them!" she shouts at Connor. And then, one night, the tear is complete. Eliza walks out of their Australian farmhouse and into a pond—one probably pulled to the surface through Connor's dowsing. Connor is alone in the world. But he recalls a promise he once made to Eliza—to find their boys and bring their bodies back home. Recovery efforts are already underway in Gallipoli, and Connor's determined to help. The task won't be easy. More than 100,000 men fell on eight square miles—their bodies turning the region into one giant, jumbled grave. To pick three brothers out of so many bones seems unlikely. Impossible, perhaps. The earth keeps her secrets. It envelops them in her dusty cover, pulls them deep within herself. Connor must force her to offer one last treasure up to him—to give him back his boys.Positive ElementsWorn as he is by grief and hardship, Connor's determination to find his sons is remarkable. Occasionally that quest pits him against the authorities and causes him to make poor decisions or lose control. But his desire to fulfill this last act for his wife and boys, if he can, should inspire us—even as it inspires those who stand in his way. When one military man wonders aloud why they should help this solitary father who broke so many rules, another says, "Because he is the only father who came looking." Connor receives help from some surprising quarters. Major Hasan, the commander who led the fight against the Australians and New Zealanders on Gallipoli (and is thus responsible for their deaths), encourages the British authorities to do what they can for Connor. And when Connor hits a snag in his search, Hasan points him down another promising path. The two eventually become friends, and they rescue each other from some prickly situations. [Spoiler Warning] In the process of honoring his dead, Connor learns that one of his sons is still alive. Named Arthur, the lad is living in a small, Turkish village, stricken by overwhelming guilt springing from his belief that he's responsible for his brothers' deaths. He refuses to go home with his father, even though the town is under assault from Greek fighters who hope to claim this area of the war-torn Ottoman Empire for their own—and Connor refuses to go without him. Either they leave together or die together, Connor tells him. Finally, with a small smile, Arthur decides to leave with his water divining dad—and live.Spiritual ContentConnor parts ways with God when his boys die. When he goes to the local church to arrange a funeral for Eliza, he admits to having no use for God—but he knows it was important for Eliza to be buried in consecrated ground. At first the pastor refuses, thinking Eliza may have killed herself. She didn't, Connor lies: "All I'm asking of you is to say some words and throw some dirt." The pastor finally gives in, but only if Connor gives his dog as an offering to the church. Connor's faith hasn't vanished completely, though. He still makes reference to an afterlife, where his wife and boys are together. He is driven to bury his sons beside Eliza—then acquiesces to having them buried in Gallipoli beside their brothers in arms. "How much blood do you need [on this land] to be holy?" a British commander asks of him. When Connor arrives in the crumbling Islamic Ottoman Empire, Ayshe, a widow working at his hotel, suggests he should visit Istanbul's famous Blue Mosque. "It's a beautiful place to find God," she says. "I didn't come for Him," Connor says. But he does visit the place and is moved by its beauty. He listens to the evening calls to prayer, and he encounters many people who reference or pray to Allah. Then, in a dream-like sequence, Connor sees "Whirling Dervishes," men who practice a form of Sufism (which is a mystical branch of Islam), believing that dancing and spinning around is a prayer to God. For the record, dowsing, or water divining, is an unscientific way to find water that is thought by some (most famously Martin Luther) to be an occult practice. Ayshe reads Connor's fortune in tea leaves (and her verdict proves to be spot-on). The movie suggests Connor has prophetic dreams and visions. We hear talk of an Islamic heaven and God's providence.Sexual ContentThe hotel Connor stays at appears to host a prostitute, who ushers an elderly man into her room. When she and Ayshe are kneading dough, she forms some of it into the shape of the male sex organ—suggesting that Ayshe may be interested in Connor's. Ayshe is, but she's also considering marrying the hotel owner—brother of her presumably dead husband—and serving as his second wife. (There seems to be no attraction between the two of them, but they deem it their duty to marry and provide for Orhan, Ayshe's 10-year-old boy.) When men bathe on the beach we see rear nudity.Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentThe Water Diviner earns its R here—in its bloody, horrific depiction of war. The brothers' fate, because it's so personal to Connor and, by extension, us, is particularly cruel. One of the young men is rendered immobile by a mortar blast—and when his siblings try to rescue him, they're brought down by machine gun fire, falling to either side of him. One has most of his face torn off. The other utters a high-pitched moan of pain with every breath—and we get the sense that it goes on for hours. We witness a "mercy killing" in the midst of the war's devastation and anguish, with a man responding to pleas for death by putting a rifle bullet through his comrade's head. (We see the man's skull again four years later when it's pulled from the ground.) More "ordinary" war casualties involve us seeing bodies of people (whose limbs have been blown off) lying in the dirt and shaking, or soldiers diving into a covered trench and engaging in hand-to-hand combat. One man is beaten to death with a rock. Another has barbed wire wrapped around his neck. A third is pummeled with a water canister. These scenes are made to look and feel as barbaric as possible, showing the terror of war. We're repeatedly told how bloody the battles were—that 70,000 Turks died and tens of thousands of Allied forces fell as well. We see the bones and skulls from both sides. Afterwards, Turkish independence fighters are ambushed and attacked by Greeks, with several being shot, stabbed and executed. Bodies of civilians lay red in the green grass. Someone smashes an assailant's head with a cricket bat. Military personnel barge into a hotel, breaking down doors, etc. Ayshe is beaten by her soon-to-be husband. But when Connor comes to her rescue (tackling the man), Ayshe tells Connor that she hit him. Then the other man, his pride hurt, arranges an ambush to beat Connor senseless, whereupon both sides endure more abuse. As mentioned, Eliza drowns herself. She's found the next morning, facedown in the water.Crude or Profane LanguageOne s-word. We hear "a--," "d--n," "h---" and "bloody" two or three times each, "b--tard" five or six.Drug and Alcohol ContentCharacters smoke quite a lot—with cigarettes being a rather hot commodity. One Turkish soldier, when offered one, pockets several handfuls. We hear tales of the cancer sticks being stolen. Hasan and Connor drink from a bottle of liquor. Connor swigs from a smaller bottle he pulls from his coat.Other Negative ElementsOrhan "steals" Connor's luggage in order to lead him to "his" hotel. Connor then undermines the boy's mother by allowing him to keep some money. "It's our secret," Connor says.ConclusionThe Gallipoli Campaign is considered a formative event in the histories of both Turkey and Australia. For Australia, this bitterly fought series of battles was critical in forging a national identity apart from the British Empire. And Mustafa Kemal, the first president of modern Turkey, rose to prominence during Gallipoli. The movie suggests that in the aftermath of the war, many Turks were campaigning and in some cases fighting for their independence. (Modern Turkey was founded in 1923, four years after the events of The Water Diviner.) But while these nations may remember the Gallipoli Campaign with a certain measure of pride, the movie shows us very little heroism in the midst of this war. That makes for an often brutal-feeling movie, as its maker (star Russell Crowe in his directorial debut) uses violent content like a cudgel to shock and, at times, even horrify. When the movie shifts away from battlefield flashbacks, it also becomes something of a charming little romance. It certainly showcases an inspiring story about a man’s love for his sons. But it's ultimately the discordant spiritual notes and the pervasive violence that will leave moviegoers feeling parched.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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    (Review Source)

PJ Media Staff1
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Russell Crowe Laments Ongoing War and 'Strangle Level of Politics' in Middle East
    PJ Media var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Russell Crowe Questions Ongoing 'Armed Conflict' In Middle East', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Academy award-winning actor Russell Crowe said people should be questioning why countries are still engaged in armed conflict within the Middle East 100 years after the split of the Ottoman Empire.Crowe was in Washington for the premiere of Water Diviner, a film that takes place in the aftermath of World War I. Crowe directed the film and plays an Australian farmer whose sons fight in the war. He was asked if the film changed his opinion about current issues related to war.“It’s definitely solidified what’s at the core of my opinions and sometimes you talk about this sort of stuff and people will say to you, ‘but isn’t there, every now and then, the right reasons for war?’ And my response is, ‘shouldn’t we have a different question by now?’ You would think years later that people would be more surprised that we’re still involved in armed conflict in exactly the same area of the world that this film is talking about from 100 years ago. I mean, Iran, Syria, Iraq – these are all countries that were formed after the split up of the Ottoman Empire in 1919,” Crowe told PJM on the red carpet at the Navy Memorial.“We have this circular thing that happens where a minute ago the leader of Syria was a bad chap and now he’s needing assistance apparently so you know, he’s going to be on the same side. Very circular and strangle level of politics we’ve gotten into in the Middle East,” he added.Crowe’s home country of Australia is currently involved in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan as well as the airstrikes against ISIS.Crowe was asked what he would like members of Congress to take away from the film.“Stepping away from the political side, the great thing about this film is it makes parents, particularly fathers, examine their position in this sort of situation and really focus on the difference between the theory and if it’s your child,” he said.In the movie, Crowe’s character travels to Turkey to find his three sons that have not returned from battle. The film has already won 3 Australian Academy Awards. Crowe, who moved to Australia from New Zealand in 1968 when he was 4 years old, was denied Australian citizenship.“For a long time there weren’t any requirements. You just go and fill out a form and become an Australian citizen and I started getting busy and started traveling and lived a lot of the time away from Australia from about the early '90s. Then I got married to an Australian woman. I had two children and I thought I better go and get that changed,” he told PJ Media. “If I’m traveling somewhere exotic with my kids and something goes wrong then we only have to go to one embassy, not two, so it was sort of practical and I also wanted them to grow up knowing of me as an Australian.”However, Crowe said the country has changed its immigration laws for New Zealanders. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/russell-crowe-laments-ongoing-war-and-strangle-level-of-politics-in-middle-east/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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    (Review Source)

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