The Water Diviner is an Australian war movie / drama notable for being the first film directed by Russell Crowe.
Crowe stars as Connor, an Australian water diviner who travels to Turkey three years after the battle of Gallipoli to retrieve the bodies of his three sons who died there. Meeting with resistance from both the remaining ANZAC forces and the Turks, Connor finds himself learning more about the cost of the battle to all parties, and experiencing life in Turkey.
The film also stars Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Isabel Lucas, Yılmaz Erdoğan, Ryan Corr, and Cem Yılmaz. The film premiered in Australia in December 2014. It was released in America in April 2015. It's also the final film by The Lord of the Rings series cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, who passed away not long after its completion.
Tropes Featured in The Water Diviner Include:
- Arc Symbol: Water features quite often in the film, including Connor's divining and Ayshe's talent for reading fortunes in coffee residue.
- Badass Bystander: Joshua is a farmer, not a soldier, but by the end of the film, he's managed to drive off Ayshe's abusive brother-in-law Omer and his friends, defend Major Hasan from ambushing Greek soldiers, and get his surviving son Arthur out of Anatolia alive.
- Beard of Evil: The Greek commander outside Anatolia has a massive beard.
- Beleaguered Bureaucrat / Obstructive Bureaucrat: You can't really blame the Turks for not listening to Connor, considering they are having to deal with their war against Greece. Similarly, the British and ANZAC troops are still trying to find graves for all of their own soldiers.
- Determinator: Connor is not leaving Turkey without his sons.
- Dowsing Device: Connor's ability to find water is a recurring element of his character.
- Dirty Coward: Omer, Ayshe's brother-in-law, insults his dead brother for going to war and getting himself killed, but he is nowhere near as brave as his brother was. After being flipped over a table by an enraged Joshua, who caught him abusing Ayshe and trying to force her to marry him, he confronts Joshua after he leaves the hotel and has a bunch of friends beat him up with sticks. And even then, Joshua overpowers them and holds his own well, right up to the point that Sergeant Jemal shows up.
- Driven to Suicide: Lizzie Connor, having passed the Despair Event Horizon after losing all of her sons.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Connor finds Arthur alive and returns to Istanbul, where he reunites with Ayshe.
- Fighting for a Homeland: Connor is in Istanbul just in time to see the Turkish nationalists beginning to rise up against the Ottomans. Major Hasan and Sergeant Jemal are both secret supporters of Mustafa Kemal.
- Hell Is That Noise: The prolonged moaning Henry made as he bled out (echoed by all the other dying and injured soldiers on the battlefield) is a mixture of gut-wrenching, psychologically torturing and probably quite true-to-life for some slowly bleeding to death.
- Hostile Weather: One flashback shows Connor protecting his sons from a freak dust storm.
- Irish Priest: Father McIntyre.
- Job Title
- Kangaroos Represent Australia: Discussed Trope. When Major Hasan presents Joshua as his POW to the Greek commander right before he's escorted off the train to be shot, the Greek commander speaks to Joshua in Greek. The first word to come from his mouth is "Australian?", followed by "Kangaroo?"
- Mercy Kill: Arthur shoots a mortally wounded Henry in the head at his request.
- Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: Subverted. The Greek commander attacks the gun-wielding Turkish soldiers with a cavalry sword. He gets injured when Joshua distracts his men by attacking them, but he survives, and cuts the throat of Sergeant Jemal before Joshua and Major Hasan escape.
- Never Found the Body: The Australian forces excavating at Gallipoli find the remains of Edward and Henry Connor, but not Arthur.
- Outliving One's Offspring: What Joshua Connor went through after the Battle of Gallipoli. Eventually he finds one of his sons still alive.
- Second Love: Joshua and Ayshe are implied to end up becoming this for one another, after his wife drowned herself, and her husband got killed in the war.
- Suicide Is Shameful: When Ed bleeds for hours and suffers horribly, he asks his also wounded brother Artie to shoot him. He can't go to heaven if he shoots himself.Ed: Artie. They won't let me into heaven.Artie: You can't ask me.Ed: You have to do it.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The screenwriters were inspired to write the film when while doing research for another project, they came across a diary entry from an Australian military official about a father who came to Turkey to recover the body of his son. In reality, there was only one son, and he died at the Battle of the Nek, not Lone Pine, though both battles took place on the same weekend as part of the August Offensive.
- War Is Hell: The battle sequences are horrific and terrifying, both from the Australian and Turkish perspective.