The Water Diviner

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.


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.

1. Istanbul

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!


Istanbul at sunset

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!


The Topkapi Palace

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.


Gallipoli battle scene

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…


    • It is not about the planet Jupiter lah! Although is outer space but is not about that planet. It is about Jupiter the girl (Mila Kunis), although she was named after the planet lah..

  1. hahahaha…she is pretty! Geez…I have not heard of this movie tsk! I think this is my type of movie. I don’t like action movies or those with excessive special effects. I like those with more substance, which I think this one is.

    • I don’t think many people in Malaysia knows this movie. It is not even marketed at all here. Well it is not a Hollywood movie for one, but there’s Russell Crowe and Olga Kurylenko in so I don’t understand why they don’t promote the movie more 😐

  2. I hop he didn’t sing in this one. LOL!!!

    Istanbul brings to mind this movie that I enjoyed very much a long long time ago. Used to have the full movie on youtube – they must have removed it already…

    • Never heard of this movie, but I did a quick Wiki read up on it. Apparently the movie was filmed in Malta as the Turkish authorities denied them permission to film in Istanbul. Fair enough, because the plot of the story is another “good” American vs “evil” Turks.

      This is what I’m talking about, most movies we are fed with are pure propaganda, extremely biased to one side. That guy was a smuggler and trying to escape arrest the first time, then attempts to stage a prison break. Under normal circumstances, he should be punished. But no, in the movie, he is the hero, because he is American. And we sometimes wonder why some Americans we encounter are so self-conceited in their world views. Tsk..

  3. Ah Istanbul, been there in 1997, beautiful city with East and West mix of cultures, visited the Blue Mosque, beautiful design and interiors

  4. Call me jakun, never heard of this movie.. And…… never been into the cinema for many years already, like 4-5 years ago? Today I stayed home and watched a few movies in Astro from 3pm til now.. First, Blades of Glory, then Nanny McPhee, then Escape Plan, and just finished The Devil Wears Prada.. Gawd, I only have Astro 🙁

    • In a few years time you will be able to visit the cinema again to watch Disney cartoons with your kids 😉

  5. Oh, thanks for sharing about this movie. I did not even know of this movie existence if not for your post. You have very good reasons for watching this, especially the last one. I won’t comment about the reasons for wars because if there are no soldiers to fight for their masters, there would be no wars so why did the soldiers fighr? – for principle? just listening to orders? for their country? for justice? although now wars do not need soldiers. Just a press of a button, nations could disappear – what a frightening world that we now live in.

    • Actually the more I read about history from alternative sources, the more I realize that there is only one reason that wars happen: $$$, it’s all about money and economy. Justice, religion, principle, those are just excuses that leaders use to justify them attacking others. Take World War I for example, there are many theories as to why the Europeans go to war, when in fact we just need to look at the outcome of the war: The Ottoman Empire was carved away by the Allied Forces (winners), they wanted those strategic lands and resources. Why did US attack Iraq? Because Saddam was a terrorist? No, it was to control the global crude oil price. Soldiers might become soldiers for personal reasons like pride or in recent days to make a living, but in the scheme of things, they are just pawns for the leaders.

      LOL! Anyway, this movie is not about the reasons for war, it is about not picking sides for past wars, it is about reconciliation..

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