'I'll find them love, and bring them back to you'.
Joshua Conner [Russell Crowe] travels to Gallipoli, four years after the end of Second World War, to find his three sons who were killed in battle all on the same day in 1915.
If the title 'Australia' hadn't already been used for another film, for which Crowe was the first to be chosen to star in, it would be a suitable choice for this film.
It may not be the 'Gone with the Wind' movie that Australia is hoping to make, but it has enough cliches to appeal to an Oz audience and so the reviews show, the rest of the world. And it works in bags. It is a two large hanky job that left this reviewer drained and weakened.
Conner is a tough Oz Irish farmer and Water Diviner with a wonderful marshmallow heart, but who will kill when cornered. He can't find any joy from the English officers in charge of identifying the bodies left on the battle field, but is befriended from unlikely sources with his natural charm and charisma.
A beautiful Turkish women played by Olga Kurylenko, her son and a Turkish Officer [Yilmaz Erdogen], Conner is able, not only to solve the mystery, but start a new life.
From the get go, there is evidence that Conner can find water by divining. There is no scientific evidence to take this seriously, and this may be an issue with some.
To somehow go to a battle field and touch the hollow of your hand and find your sons is a bit of a stretch. Nevertheless there is lots to make any Aussie feel at home, battles, a cricket match, wonderful outback Australian bush, horses, a love story, cinematography that will take your breathe away and a glimpse of Turkish culture.
This is Crowe's first time both behind and in front of the camera, and has already been nominated for various awards, so it may not be his last.
A few home truths for the ANZAC tradition, we lost 2,000 men at Gallipoli, the Turks lost 10,000.
Rotting in No Man's Land, out in the rain,
My little son…
Yet all these men had mothers, every one.