It has been four years since Gallipoli battle and an Australian farmer Conner ventures into Turkey to find the three sons he lost to the war and bring their bodies home. On his way he meets new friends, faces new foes and discovers hope he did not think existed.
The trailer to THE WATER DIVINER revealed one of the major plot twists, however I will not mention in my review as I consider it a spoiler. I guess it is very hard to promote a movie about a father who had lost everything without a glimmer of hope. Talking about hope - it is a common thread going through the movie and THE WATER DIVINER was released in Turkey under the name of LAST HOPE. It may be a better name.
THE WATER DEVINER is a very sentimental movie. The romantic relationship of Connor with a Turkish single mother is one of the main plot features. Olga Kurylenko shines as a single mother and a widow who is determined not to succumb to the fate of the women of her status. Kurylenko is beaming with charisma and has enough presence to be the most likeable and identifiable character in the film.
In many ways THE WATER DIVINER is a western, that is stuck between the better Clint Eastwood films and Indiana Jones. It is surprisingly lighthearted for the serious drama effect it is trying to achieve and it is as beneficial to the movie as it is frustrating.
Russell Crow's directorial debut is firm and focused. The biggest fault here, however, is the lost of credibility of some scenes where important dialogue is replaced by background music, letting us to fill in the gaps. Crow's overuse of slow motion effect is also, eventually, becoming annoying.
Russell Crow had chosen a very straight forward way to tell a good story and it worked, however I cannot stop thinking that WATER DIVINER could have been so much bigger, better and deeper.