by Jimmy Lee King
Russell Crowe, directs and stars as “Conner” in this epic movie about an Australian farmer whose three sons go off to to war, and all are presumed dead in the battle of Gallipoli 1915-1916.
I’m not going to make a history lesson out this movie review, but I urge you to look it up. http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/battle-of-gallipoli 500,000 people died in this arrogant attempt by the British to seize and make a path to the their Russian allies through Turkey.
Conner is a farmer that has an ability to understand where water is underground. The movie begins in beautiful Australia, with Conner going through his steps to find an underground source for water. Using nothing more than a couple pieces of wire in his hands and sensing where the water is. He marks a spot and digs into the earth making a hole big enough for him and about 15 feet in depth, low and behold, water. His finding water is portrayed in a way that is very magical. Today, there are probably apps for our phones to find water in the ground, but in 1916 there was nothing other than using one’s senses.
Conner’s wife, Eliza (Jacqueline McKenzie) has not made peace with her three sons being killed and is living in a mental hell on the farm, making life very difficult for Conner who is trying to hold the pieces of their lives together. Eventually Eliza gives up and commits suicide which is yet another blow to Conner’s existence.
A key scene in the movie is when Conner goes to ask a local priest Father McIntyre (Damon Herriman) to say words for Eliza’s burial. The priest refuses because Eliza’s death is a suicide. His son’s are dead, his wife is dead and God has also turned his back on him. This is when Conner has hit rock bottom and he has nothing left.
Conner, decides to travel to Turkey and find the place where his sons were killed. Not just the area they died, but the actual spots where they took their final breaths on the battlefield. Upon arriving in Istanbul he is immediately thrust into the bustle of a large city swarming with people and before he can take his first steps into the city his bag is stolen. Conner, is in a strange land which is as opposite from his home as possible. He is forced to quickly adapt to his situation and his task at hand.
Eventually he fights through to the battle ground where his sons we’re killed and uses his powers of finding water on farms in Australia to sense out the place where his sons died. Upon this, he strongly senses that one of his sons did not die in the battle and is still alive.
Conner, is then thrust into an adventure to find his living son which is where the story has been leading. Gorgeous, scenery in this movie and I suggest seeing it in IMAX if possible. https://www.amctheatres.com
Newport on the Levee in Newport, Kentucky is a great theater and I felt it was a truly magical movie experience. Russell Crowe knocked it out of the park as a director on this movie. The pace and feel of the movie are epic. The story demonstrates the power of a father and sons’ devotion to each other even when all is thought to be lost.
I give The Water Diviner a Grade A
Please remember to turn off you cell phones at a movie theater.