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The Water Diviner | 2015 | R | - 5.7.3

During WWI the three sons of an Australian farmer (Russell Crowe) are presumed dead in the Battle of Gallipoli. Unable to deal with grief, his wife (Jacqueline McKenzie) kills herself and he becomes determined to find their bodies and bring them back to bury them with their mother. Also with Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Cem Y?lmaz, Ryan Corr and Y?lmaz Erdo?an. Directed by Crowe. Several lines of dialogue are in Turkish with English subtitles. [1.51]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A husband pulls his wife out of a pond and the thin fabric of her outfit is soaked, revealing full breasts and nipples, partial buttocks and thighs. A woman wears a short blouse and skirt that bares part of her midriff. A few scenes include shirtless men working. A man digs a well and we later see him removing the shirt in a long shot before taking an outdoor shower. A lake scene shows several men bathing in the water in a long shot. In a Turkish bath, shirtless men wear long towels on their waist. A woman uses bread dough to form the genitals of a man and another woman giggles.
 A man stays in an Istanbul hotel run by a war widow and becomes friendly with her; she tells him that during marriage arrangements, the sweeter the coffee served, the deeper the love will be. A man and woman share a candlelight dinner late at night, talking, smiling and looking into each other's eyes.
 A widow's brother-in-law demands that she marry him, but she stalls, thinking that her husband is still alive; she visits the brother-in-law's house, where she is told that the man will visit her each third night and later the widow refuses to marry the man. A woman who lives in a hotel wears a lot of makeup and a man refers to her using a derogatory term. A man accuses a male friend of having been to a brothel, but the friend only smiles and admits he has heard of it.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - Several flashbacks of WWI in Gallipoli are illustrated through the pages of a diary that has blood spots on its pages: We see men trembling in trenches as we hear very loud rifles, cannons, machine guns, grenades and bombs; soldiers charge out of a trench and we see pillars of dust, smoke and flames, and then men fight hand-to-hand, punching, kicking, slamming heads into rock walls, hitting enemies on the head with large rocks and drawing blood, kneeing groins, and stabbing men with bayonets and swords, and drawing blood (we hear a lot of drawn-out screeching and shouting as men drop off-screen presumably dead).
 A quivering man lies on his back, both legs missing from the bloody knees downward in a battle scene and a man behind him is missing an arm and we see blood along the shoulder; many men lie dead with their faces black and red with burns and blood. Australian soldiers charge into a Turkish trench at night, killing dozens of men as we hear screams and shouts, as they are strangling them with barbed wire; after the fight, an Australian walks down the trench, shooting the bodies with a rifle to ensure they are dead and we see some blood. In three nighttime flashbacks, we see and hear machine gun fire hit three men several times, causing blood to rush from several bullet holes in their chest; one man is shown to be dead with his face blown half away (it's very bloody and partially burned black) while another man lies holding his bloody abdomen and screeching in pain for hours in a pool of blood and his mouth is bloody as he begs the last man to kill him; the third man pulls the bayonet off a rifle, puts the barrel to the other man's forehead and shoots (we see a red spot of blood on the forehead as the victim dies), and then wails and cries as he lies in blood and mud. A soldier forces two other soldiers to their knees and aims a handgun at them, while a third soldier hits him and several other men in the head with a cricket bat; one soldier on the ground is sliced across the throat (we see blood as he dies) and the other men dodge gunfire and escape on horseback. Soldiers set fire to train tracks and attack a resulting stopped train carrying other soldiers; machine gunfire breaks windows, kicks up dust and kills men as the attacking soldiers jump on board the stopped train and slice two men with long knives (blood is shown), and then kill everyone on the train except three men. Soldiers attack a monastery with mortars and bombs and we see fire, dirt clouds and smoke while we see the bodies of men, women and children (no blood) in the yard.
 A man lunges at another man, who hits him with a cross-style grave marker, knocking him to his knees. A soldier slaps another soldier in the face. A woman slaps a man for telling the woman's son that his father is dead and the man attacks her, savagely slapping her three times; another man intervenes and punches the attacker, who walks away, angry. A man and his friends beat another man with canes, until an army officer stops them.
 A man experiences visions while reading a war diary and he understands that one of his sons survived a serious wound after his two other sons tried to rescue him (they were shot to death). A man walks around the Gallipoli battlefield and by intuition, finds the spot where his sons fell and bodies are uncovered with skulls having bullet holes. A man buries his wife in a church cemetery after a priest walks away, taking the man's dog as payment. We see dog tags, skulls with bullet holes and bones and a man buries them with cross markers on the battlefield. In Turkey, ANZAC (Australian/New Zealand) soldiers of the Imperial War Graves Unit perform a mass excavation and re-burial of war dead. We see a field of white crosses and piles of human bones, notably ribcages and skulls as a man picks up a skull and we see a bullet hole in it; a cart on the field is full of bones, largely skulls and ribcages, and bears a sign, "Turkish Bones."
 Two men jump down a drain opening and into a shallow river that carries them away from attacking soldiers. A man sneaks away from a hotel and is chased by authorities through streets and over rooftops before he is captured and taken to a train. A small boy steals a bag from an Australian man having just arrived and leads a chase to his mother's hotel; the boy's mother hates Australians and refuses to give the man a room, but her male business partner does so as the woman glares.
 A huge sandstorm with waves of sand at least 100 feet high overtake three boys with rifles who are running while carrying half a dozen rabbits they presumably killed for dinner (no blood is seen); the sand knocks the boys to the ground and their father rushes up with a blanket to cover them until the storm passes. A man hears a scream before dawn and finds his wife's body face down in a pond (she committed suicide) and he cries out in sorrow.
 We hear that 10,000 ANZACs died in the war and that 70,000 Turks died. A caption reads that 37 million men died or were wounded on all sides and 8 million men were MIA. We see a coffin in a cart and inside a church, and a priest berates a man severely for non-attendance. A man argues with authorities for rights to search for the bodies of his three sons. Three scenes feature male Turks of all ages marching with banners in Istanbul, demonstrating with loud shouts for Turkish rights after WWI and British occupation. An officer says that in previous wars armies shoveled human bodies into a pit with dead donkeys and horses, covered them all with lye and made fertilizer. We hear that a man's three sons died as soldiers in WWI; after four years, the man's wife, grief-stricken, insists that he read from "Arabian Nights" to the sons in a room with three empty beds. A man suggests that an enemy officer had all opposing casualties shot to death. A man tells another man that his son survived and was a prisoner.
 A man argues several times with a woman whose husband died in WWI. A man argues with a British official at the War Office in Istanbul. British authorities alert a man him that he will be deported from Turkey for nosing around battlefields that are off limits to civilians. A woman screams at her husband, telling him that he is the cause of her sons being lost during a war and he looks sad. A woman screams at her brother-in-law because the man wants to adopt her young son and take her hotel. A woman and a man argue loudly and she tells him to get out. We see soldiers traumatized and suffering from PTSD.
 An elderly man plucks a chicken's tail feathers while it is still alive, causing it to squawk and run away. An elderly man asks a farmer to help him perform hemorrhoid surgery.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 1 scatological term, 1 anatomical term, 11 mild obscenities, name-calling (wretched, slut, enemy, fool, peacock, kangaroo, enemy, stubborn, bloodbath, Godless), stereotypical references to men, women, parents, children, the rich, ghosts, soldiers, bureaucrats, veterans suffering PTSD, nationalists, priests and clerics, Turks, the British, Australians, Greeks, Europeans), 7 religious exclamations (My God, Remember God, God Forgive His Sins, How In God's Name, You're All But Dead To God, God Never Gave You A Son, Godless).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man drinks whiskey from a half-pint bottle outdoors, several men drink a clear liquor in small glasses in an underground café, and two men drink out of a bottle of vodka after escaping an attack by soldiers. A man smokes cigarettes in several outdoor scenes and in an office as well as outside a tent and on a train and in an underground café, a man says that a war prisoner stole his cigarettes and lighter, and a man takes several cigarettes from a boxful offered to him and sticks them in his pocket.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Intuition, water divining, prophetic dreams, war, racial prejudice, death, loss, PTSD, suicide, courage, determination, religions, marriage traditions, forgiveness, starting over.

MESSAGE - New life awaits for survivors of war, if they are open to it. Grief can be overwhelming.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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