Tuesday, April 28, 2015

[Review] The Water Diviner

Russell Crowe makes his directorial debut with this historical piece, The Water Diviner. It's part war tale, part search drama, part romance. The results are mixed and a little muddy.

It's been four years since the Battle of Gallipoli, and well digger Joshua (Crowe) is a man who has lost everything. His wife is dead, and his sons never made it home from war and are presumed to be scattered in the battlefields. Joshua travels to Turkey in order to give them a proper burial, but of course he has to find them first, which is no easy task. In the meantime, he temporarily resides in a small hotel, run by single mother Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko) and her young son.

The film seems a little disjointed at first--the scene transitions don't quite mesh, and there are a number of flashbacks and jarring changes in tone. But after a while, it settles into more of a cohesive groove. The problem is--it's a very slow moving groove. In regards to the pacing, it's as if an hour glass got clogged and the sand only trickles through in small specks. The narrative is full of unmemorable stretches where the events just aren't all that interesting. This is a fairly sprawling story with a large scope, but instead of being a sweeping epic, it's more of a sleeping epic.

Crowe's performance is very solid, and you gotta to hand it to him for having the ambitions for something like this, especially that of a lesser-known part of world history. The cinematographers convey the views nicely, and there's a beautiful musical score to back it. Essentially, The Water Divine has great intentions and sentiment, and it hurls an emotional punch toward the end, but the path there isn't as particularly thrilling or as deep as it wants to be.


No comments:

Post a Comment