Extra Cinema: The Water Diviner (15)

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Starring: Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko

Director: Russell Crowe

In front of the camera, New Zealand-born actor Russell Crowe has enjoyed critical and commercial success.

For his directorial debut, Crowe casts himself as a crusading father Joshua Connor who will stop at nothing to locate his three fallen sons.

The Water Diviner is a solid first effort including well-choreographed scenes of conflict and self-sacrifice during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.

However, his film falls victim to heavy-handed sentiment when it comes to a romance across the cultural divide. Blessed with lustrous cinematography, The Water Diviner is a heartfelt tale 
of broken men and redemption.

Crowe doesn’t have to stretch himself, but his character’s search for answers certainly tugs heartstrings including a devastating scene of his three boys scythed down by Turkish bullets.

However, the romantic subplot doesn’t really work — and its resolution is unintentionally hilarious — but the rest of Crowe’s first foray in the director’s chair shows promise.

Rating: 6/10