The Water Diviner sees Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, funnily enough he also takes on the lead role as Connor a man determined to make peace after a war and the broken family it has left him with. The Water Diviner didn’t really intrigue me too much, from the trailers I thought there could be some nice landscape shots and maybe an emotional connection but that was all I was expecting.
The Water Diviner isn’t anything special but it’s far from a bad movie either. It is simply fine, due to this I predict that this film won’t live long in the memory of its viewers. The fact that this is Crowe’s directorial debut may be the only thing that keeps it from fading from memory completely. The whole cast perform well, but I feel they were underused. The plot of the story lends itself to the opportunities for some fantastic acting but these opportunities are rarely taken which is a shame. There were two standout performances though, which were enjoyable. The first was that of Ryan Corr (Art) he was able to demonstrate his ability in the war sequences and he conveyed emotion the best out of the whole cast. The second standout performance for me was Jai Courtney (Hughes). He has been cropping up all over the place in the last few years, but here I feel I saw him in his most mature role yet and he took to it really well. Of course Crowe was reliable as ever but he never really excelled himself.
The film works on an emotional level but only to a point. There are moments that convey the emotion, pain and grief of the characters well but it can only go so far. This was because as with a lot of films these days The Water Diviner suffered from a lack of character development. This problem is nearly resolved as the film goes on but for certain moments of the film more in depth development certainly would have helped things. The film is inspired by true events which is quite cool, however the stronger emotional weight that usually brings to a film didn’t occur here. The Water Diviner also suffers slightly from some pacing issues. It goes up and down in terms of interest and my attention was flagging throughout and was definitely lost before the ending to the film. There is a definite historical element to the movie and this will work either positively or negatively depending on your interest of the topic, personally it didn’t particularly engage me. There was one other element of this movie I didn’t like, it just seemed very silly and more at home in a fantasy film – I won’t mention is specifically to avoid spoilers however it annoy me for a few scenes.
The Water Diviner is fine, I’m guessing not quite what Crowe was hoping for but nonetheless his efforts haven’t gone completely to waste. There were a couple of really enjoyable performances and some nice moments of emotion scattered throughout the picture. However largely a lack of key character development and problems with pacing hold The Water Diviner back from its full potential.
BIGGEST FLAW – Lack of character development
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Jai Courtney’s most mature performance to date
Rating – 6/10