Yesterday I went to see Russell Crowe’s directorial debut “The Water Diviner” in the Odeon, Castletroy here in Limerick.

I am very fussy when it comes to picking films to see in the cinema, or buy on DVD. Usually I know by watching a clip or trailer of a film whether I'll like it or not. I take note of a lot of things in the trailer, the score, the cinematography, the actors, the sounds and locations. To capture my attention, all of these aspects have to work together.

Having watched the trailer last year, I had high expectations. The film looked beautiful and the story being told was emotional and the fact that the film was based on true events piqued my interest.

First of all, for a directorial debut, I was pleasantly surprised. Russell Crowe did an amazing job as a first time director.


The plot is as follows, without spoilers.                                                                            

A father travels to Gallipoli, Turkey, after the Battle of Gallipoli, to find and bring home the bodies of his three sons who were killed in the war.

Russell Crowe's voice is iconic in itself. I'd know his distinct Australian voice anywhere. To be honest, he was the only actor I knew beforehand in this film. But this fact did not lessen my interest in the film by any means.

The film has stunning locations, shot in Australia and Turkey. There are no complicated shots really. I feel as though the beauty of the natural landscape is dominant in many of the shots. The architectural beauty of Turkey is particularly striking.  I also liked that genuine Turkish actors were in the film.


As well as telling an emotional story, one that everyone can relate to, there is also a historical aspect to the film. There are many touching moments throughout the film, particularly with the use of a windmill.

The harsh reality of the horror that occurred on the battlefield is shown in the film. The garish wounds of the soldiers aren’t shied away from. On more than one occasion I had to look away, cover my ears or close my eyes to hide from the images. It awoke me to the fact that such injuries did occur. I prefer reality, despite my aversion to blood.

While in my opinion slow to get into the action, the film is striking.  I know a film has impacted me in a good way when my mind is racing with thoughts at the end of it. I left the cinema with burning questions on the history of the war, the weapons used. It made me want to research the true story and to educate myself on the Battle of Gallipoli.

All in all, I really liked the film.


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