Russell Crowe takes the lead and directs in this dramatic war story about a father who heads to Turkey from Australia to find his three missing, presumed dead, sons.
The drama of Crowe’s journey across the lands to find his boys is intercut with scenes of the boys in war which add to the film very well as well as providing a short alternative to the heaviness of the drama.
Crowe acts and directs the movie very well, the story is loosely based on a note that was found saying a father had come looking for his sons so the writers Andrew Knight (mostly a TV writer) and Andrew Anastasios do well to make a whole movie.
I do think the movie begins to get bogged down in a love story between Crowe and Olga Kurylenko who plays a widowed hotelier in Turkey where Crowe ends up staying. At first she is angry and doesn’t want him in the hotel as she blames the Australian army for killing her husband during the war. But eventually she thaws as he wins her round by, well, not really doing much.
I wasn’t expecting to like the movie quite as much as I did if I’m honest. It’s a tad long, there’s a lot of coincidences to keep things moving but they’re forgivable and the performances are outstanding from all involved.
The score by David Hirschfelder (Australia, The Truman Show) with additional music by Ludovico Einaudi is fantastic too, portraying the emotion and gravitas of the scenes very well.
For what is, essentially, Crowe’s first foray behind the camera it’s an excellent piece of drama and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from him behind the camera…you get what I mean.