Making his directorial debut, the world finally receives the true vision of everyone’s favourite chisel jawed, phone throwing, all-singing(?) Aussie. C’est un film de Russell Crowe. He takes the job with all the seriousness you would expect from a man who bellowed 24601 so vociferously, choosing a First World War story of a father, Joshua (Crowe), attempting to track down the bodies of his sons who died on the fields in Gallipoli. It’s not completely dreadful, but it’s awfully ham-fisted and dull, with Crowe’s character taken fancy by a number of Turks all keen to help his quest despite the logistical and diplomatic odds against him.
An overzealous (and frankly quite annoying) child picks up his bags at the station and races him to his family’s hotel in which he inevitably falls for Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko) and takes this supposedly adorable child on board as a surrogate son. Standing on a former battlefield in Gallipoli, despite the vast landscape and tens of thousands of dead, Crowe’s deep fatherly instinct is as potent as his ability to find water back on his homestead, a poetic metaphor which no doubt appeared natural and poignant in Crowe’s head only. It all feels very contrived with an air of inevitability which denies it the sense of paternal epic Crowe strives for. A noble failure from this young, strident film maker.
Review by David Rank
The Water Diviner is out on 3rd April in the UK and out on 24th April in the US. Running time 111 mins. Certificate 15 (UK).