Retire Mechanical engineer. Student at California State university Channel Island studiyingAbout Me

September 4, 2015

Russell Crowe’s "Water Diviner"

I had the opportunity to see "Water Diviner" on my flight from Fort Lauderdale this past weekend. The story is both heart-warming and tragic, and understandably human.

It is the story of an Australian farmer, by the name of O’Conner, who loses his three sons to the Anzac war during WWI.

It is also the story of O’Conner's wife and her obsession with not being able to accept that their sons were the tragic casualties of the war.

Ultimately Mrs. O’Conner commits suicide by drowning, leaving the father no other choice but to go and find his three sons.

As a side note - a little bit of background history: during WWI, the people of Europe, governed by their nationalistic pride, set forth a highly tragic war in which thirty-eight million lives were lost. Australia, a British colony at the time, joined the war against Turks.

The arrogance of the war planners of Britain paid a high cost in the number of casualties. The Brits miscalculated their war strategies. The nationalistic conscious thinking of the British Generals led by Sir Winston Churchill, thought that the sick men of Europe were no match for their military power. How wrong they could possibly be?

During that war in Gelibolu, the Brits had great difficulty passing through the Dardanelles. When they finally got through with the help of their French and Italian allies, the Brits spent a whole year without gaining an inch of territory and with heavy casualties.

Finally, they pulled out and returned to the war table. Armies of the Anzac, which included Australians, New Zealanders, India, and Canadians were joined by the French. The British had only officers in this war but no troop commitment. It was because of the heavy casualties that the  Australians and New Zealanders decided to become independent of Britain.

Back to the story: The stubborn O'Conner traveled to Istanbul to find his sons, but was not allowed near the war site as the Turks and British were trying to sort out the graves of their soldier.

When he was told to go back, he refused and with the help of a Turkish officer, Major Hassan, he finally was able to go to the war site. Staying away from the British camp, he set up his own camp sight, starting a fire to keep warm. The British officers took pity on hem and sent blankets and food.

Officer Major Hassan lived with his own traumatic stress syndrome, reliving war scenes and remembering the night he killed two of O’Conner’s sons. When O’Conner finds out the it was Hassan that killed two of his sons, he tries to kill Hassan, but is separated by several British officers.

As a result of this, Hassan sympathizes with O'Conner's pain. O'Conner, on the other hand, realizes that the Turks had every right to defend their lands. Out of this drama a friendship forms between O’Conner and Turkish major.

During that period the Greeks and Turks were also at each other's throat and the chaotic war almost took the life of Major Hassan. O’Conner rescues Hassan. In return, Hassan and one of his sergeants conduct research into the archives and relate the good news to O’Conner that his eldest son is still alive.

In the end, O’Conner finds his son and when the son refuses to go back, O’Conner tells him that his mother has committed suicide and he has no one to return to. Together they escape to freedom.

A note: I believe a studio would have done a much better job in filming this emotional story; like that of  “Ryan’s Daughter,” but that would have required a mega budget. However, considering the circumstances, the story is well thought out and, overall, well done.