I went to Gurney Plaza today to catch a movie that has just recently been released in Malaysia cinemas. It was an 11.30AM screening and I arrived at 11.15AM. It is Saturday so it is supposed to still be sleeping time for most but boy was the cinema crowded! The queue for tickets was long and the queue for popcorn was even longer! I guess that new movie Jupiter Ascending is really hugely anticipated..
Thankfully, I bought my tickets and popcorn using GSC’s mobile app so I was able to avoid the queue for both occasions. And thankfully I was not watching this movie today. I was actually watching another movie called The Water Diviner. I guess nobody knew or cared about this movie, it was (again) only screening in Gurney Plaza and in the smallest hall.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CkLC4Zr2Mw]
The Water Diviner is an Australian movie directed by Russell Crowe (who also stars in the movie). The main story happens in the aftermath of the Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey and focuses on a battle between ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) and Turks forces.
This is actually not a new movie. It officially premiered in Australia, New Zealand and Turkey on Boxing Day 2014. I have been anticipating this movie’s screening in Malaysia because this movie talks about something that I am really interested in and has received very favorable reviews upon release. I was glad that the movie did not disappoint me. It is not a movie with lots of explosion and special effects and super climax, but I really enjoyed the entire movie. Let me tell you why. Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about spoilers this time, I will try my best to use general statements.
In the movie, Russell Crowe’s character spent a lot of time in Istanbul, offending and learning local religion and culture at every turn. As a result, the movie is filled with interesting scenes from various locations in this remarkable city. Watching the movie is like going on a cinematic tour of this fabulous city!
It is also apparently the first ever movie production that is allowed to do filming inside the world famous Topkapi Palace. After seeing the shots from the movie, when I visit Istanbul in the future, I will definitely fork out the admission fee to enter this place!
2. Correct Sentiments of History
Let’s face it. When we study World War 1 in our textbooks, it is always the Allied Forces (UK, France, Russia) as good guys struggling and prevailing over the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey, Bulgaria) as bad guys. Of course, it didn’t help that all those Hollywood movies did nothing other than reinforce this perception.
The Water Diviner is different. This movie focuses on the aftermath of a specific battle where ANZAC forces fought the Turks, and instead of depicting the Aussies as heroes, the movie decided to take a neutral stand. There are no good guys/bad guys in wars, only winners/losers and unnecessary casualties.
Two statements uttered in the movie left a profound impression on me. A Turkish commander said to an angry Australian soldier: You invaded our country. Your guns and bombs caused the death of 70 000 of my people’s lives. And an Australian commander said: They killed 2000 of our men that night, they also lost 7000 men to us. I don’t know if I will forgive either of us.
Quotes are not spoilers, are they? I didn’t give you any hint on how the story pans out, did I?
The point is, watching this movie made me ponder hard. It made me re-calibrate my views on wars and world history..
3. Olga Kurylenko
Okay, this is the main reason why I watched the movie.
Okay, okay, this is THE ONLY reason why I watched the movie in the first place.
Russell Crowe did really well in this movie, as did Yilmaz Erdogan (he is a very famous Turkish actor).. but, seriously… who cares?
Olga is so so so so beautiful in this movie! 😳
And on that bombshell, it is time to end this post…