The Movie: 8/10
Wars have happened all over the planet for as long as humans could hold and use weapons or just beat the crap out of each other. We all learn about the wars our own countries are part of, but we really don’t learn much about the others that have shaped the cultures and boundaries of all the nations we have created. This movie reminds me that there is so much human history I simply will never know. Part of WWI took place between Turkey and Australia. I know it was a World War, but I guess my limited education on the subject still limits me to think of only America’s participation. A fictional tale about fictional people set in the middle of a real historic event can be tricky. We have Pearl Harbor and Titanic, not historically accurate on most accounts when it comes to the characters, but they are put in extraordinary circumstances to take us through the events. The Water Diviner can join the ranks.
I will be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to this one. I have no idea why. I’m glad to say it changed my mind very quickly. Between the excellent performances and the amazing cinematography it was obvious it would be a quality film journey.
Russell Crowe and the entire cast are wonderful to watch in each of their roles. From the boy who endears our leading man to his mother to all of the military men Crowe encounters, it’s all good. We are following a father (Crowe) as he goes to a distant land to find the remains of his 3 sons killed at a very famous battle of the first world war. No, it’s not all about finding water in the ground:)
There really are no faults for me on this one. I was engaged, I cared, I was interested in every aspect of every scene from the time we learn he’s a loving father to his search to meeting all the people he needs to befriend along the way to make his trip worthwhile. I cried and even giggled a couple of times, but not much. This is not a light-hearted, even if it’s slightly romanticized, telling of a grim tale. The emotions of a father and husband who has lost so much, alongside the reminder that we humans have one main problem among us, those jerks who want more in this life then they deserve (that includes wanting to dictate ideas, steeling resources, taking more power then they deserve, etc.) , makes The Water Diviner a compelling, beautiful, thoughtful movie and I’m thrilled to have been wrong about my reservations.
- The Making Of The Water Diviner – An obviously made for TV making of special hosted by Russell Crowe, it’s quite respectful of the real life events and often heartfelt.
- The Battle Of Gallipoli – A very short look at the battle, the first few minutes of explanation from Russell Crowe is good for anyone who is unfamiliar with events.
- UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover is fine. I’m not a huge Crowe fan, but he’s the tormented father in the story. The look on his face on this cover image is just right to inform you about the story you are about to watch. I wouldn’t have it as a poster though, kind of boring.
Audio & Video: 8/10
Russell Crowe has certainly got a cinematographer’s eye and The Water Diviner is an impressive directorial debut. Warner’s Blu-Ray release is also top-tier using the AVC 1080P codec to full effect. Crowe has used many color processes during post production so the film does have a yellowish tinge but boy does that tinge look beautiful. Sharpness is correct with lots of fine detail in facial closeups. This is good stuff and pays tribute to the men who fought in this little known war perfectly.
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA sound mix is very loud, I needed to turn down my amp from its usual listening position to get comfortable with it. Dialog is central and clear while music enters the surround speakers more often than not. If I have any issues it’s the sound stage is very wide, you might want to turn on your late night listening mode if you are watching at night.
Overall Score 8/10