Russell Crowe makes an appearance on the red carpet for the Chicago premiere of “The Water Diviner” on April 19 (Photo Credit: Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP).
Heartbreaking and Heartwarming
The volatile father-son relationship has received the Hollywood treatment many times over.
However, very few films have shown how beautiful the father-son dynamic can become when unconditional love replaces strife and division.
Soon, Russell Crowe’s “The Water Diviner” will take its place in the pantheon of heartwarming father-son pictures alongside the likes of “The Pursuit of Happyness,” and “Boyz N The Hood.”
Like most sons, Connor’s sons hang on to every word their father teaches them growing up.
He is their hero.
He rescues them when danger threatens them.
He teaches them how to survive as men.
And he teaches them the value of fighting for their country, Australia.
In 1915, when Australia enters into the Battle of Gallipoli with Turkey, all three of Connor’s sons, Art (Ryan Corr), Edward (James Fraser) and Henry (Ben O’Toole), volunteer their services to defend their country.
Their father always taught his three boys to look out for one another and never leave one of their siblings behind.
So when one of the Connor boys is gravely wounded at the Battle of Gallipoli on Aug. 7, 2015, the other two come to his defense even if the consequences are fatal for them as well.
Connor’s wife blames him for the death of her three sons.
She spends most of her time praying in the church, while Connor spends his days searching for water underground, a necessity in a country that rarely sees rain.
His wife is even distraught enough to want Connor to continue reading to the three boys at night, even after she knows they died in war.
However, when she cannot tolerate the pain and her faith fails her, she takes her own life allowing her to reunite with her deceased sons.
Before her suicide, she begs Connor to return to Turkey to bring the remains of her three boys back to Australia.
She wants her sons buried on consecrated ground, and Connor vows to bring them home and bury them next to their mother.
“The Water Diviner” is equally heartbreaking and heartwarming.
Connor is the 20th century version of Job without the unrelenting faith.
How does a man who loses his three sons and his wife continue to find the strength to live in the mist of the storm?
How can one maintain faith when all of his blessings seemingly disappear?
And how strong is a father’s love if he cannot find his seed when they are lost in the “wilderness?”
Crowe’s performance will produce smiles and tears for some moviegoers.
However, the star of the show is Dylan Georgiades, who plays 10-year-old Orhan.
Orhan’s bubbly and precocious personality is the perfect remedy to rid Connor of the illness of depression, mourning and sorrow.
Georgiades’ performance lights up the screen with enthusiasm and personality.
“The Water Diviner” drags only briefly at the beginning with Connor’s obsession with finding water and at the beginning of his pilgrimage to Turkey. Regardless, “The Water Diviner” is a beautiful ode to fatherhood and “step-fatherhood” and shows just how important the father-son relationship is.