Russell Crowe’s Water Diviner a Story Only He Could Tell
Growing up a New Zealander-Australian, Russell Crowe, 51, was intimately familiar with the Dardanelles Campaign, a veritable slaughterhouse battle over a tiny Turkish peninsula also known as Gallipoli. In his latest film, The Water Diviner, he plays an Australian Outback farmer who loses all three of his sons to the campaign.
“Gallipoli is a cultural touchstone in New Zealand and Australia. It’s often seen as the point in time where those young nations were forged,” Crowe told the Washington Times.
Before World War I, he said, the two were still mere colonies of the British Empire, and thus this was the first war where the antipodal soldiers “are fighting under their [own] flags. New Zealanders and Australians have a deep connection with this battle because it’s the beginning of the countries; it’s the baptism of fire; it’s the fact that we got involved in selling a story to our kids and then watched them die.”
In The Water Diviner, Crowe’s character despite his grief makes the long journey to the Mediterranean in an attempt to find his sons’ remains so that they might be buried at home on the family farm.
Because of the connection to his homeland’s history, when the screenplay by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios for The Water Diviner passed his desk, Crowe knew that he wanted to make the film and personally shepherd it to completion. Accordingly, he signed on not only to star but also to make his debut in the director’s chair.
In a Huffington Post review critic Carole Mallory writes: “A tender, soulful Russell Crowe makes The Water Diviner work.
“ … The filming of Istanbul and the Turkish countryside is spectacular as is the authenticity of the turn of the century sets and period costumes … The acting of the entire cast of relative unknowns is first rate.”
Crowe next stars in drama Fathers and Daughters alongside Aaron Paul and Diane Kruger.
He was born in Wellington.
Original article by Eric Althoff, The Washington Times, April 22, 2015.
Photo by Associated Press.