Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Water Diviner: Russell Crowe's big-hearted movie the "perfect tribute for the Gallipoli centenary"

Russell Crowe filmed his WWI drama in historic sites across Turkey

Russell Crowe makes his directorial debut and plays the lead role in this big-hearted movie about an Australian father who goes in search of his three sons missing in action after they joined the Allied Forces on a mission to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.

Beautifully shot by award-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie in stunning locations both in Australia and in Turkey, including the iconic Blue Mosque, the film stars Olga Kurylenko, Cem Yılmaz and Yılmaz Erdoğan.

The story is inspired by the historic events surrounding the catastrophic World War I Gallipoli Campaign, which claimed the lives of tens of thousands. With the war over and no news about brothers Arthur, Edward and Henry Connor, father Joshua (Crowe), a farmer and water diviner, travels to Turkey to discover their fate.

On arrival in Constantinople his progress is blocked by military bureaucracy. Aided by a beautiful Turkish coffee-cup-reading hotel owner Ayşe (Kurylenko) and Major Hasan (Erdoğan), a war hero who becomes an unlikely ally, Joshua heads across the tragic, war-torn landscape struggling to find his own peace while desperately holding onto hope.

Writers Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios crafted the script around a single line found in a letter by Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Hughes, who oversaw the Imperial War Graves unit at Gallipoli “One old chap managed to get here from Australia, looking for his son’s grave.” From this came the incredible story which not only tackles the ANZAC legend, but also the traumatic impact of the war on both sides.

Erdoğan, who won Australia’s equivalent of the Oscars as Best Supporting Actor, thought it was a joke when first told Crowe wanted to call him about a film. The Turkish actor was then given a free hand to develop his army major’s character. Of Crowe’s directing abilities, Erdoğan said, “He is a perfect chef!”
Cem Yılmaz & Yılmaz Erdoğan bring the Turkish experience to the fore in this humane story about Gallipoli 
The film’s other major Turkish role is Cemal (Yılmaz), described as ‘a beaten lion’. Yılmaz claims the film served no sides, but humanity. “There is no bad guy in this movie, there are victims. Connor has principles, but the Turkish Ottomans have principles and objectives”.

A moral fable about forgiveness, the film is the perfect tribute for the Gallipoli centenary. 

See trailer here:

No comments:

Post a Comment