Russell Crowe’s ‘The Water Diviner’ can be viewed as an insightful study of grief and loss.
In Part Four of this 6 part series, I began my reflection on the psychological journeys within ‘The Water Diviner’. In this part, I will explore some of the psychological journeys experienced by the supporting characters.
Each of the supporting characters can be seen as representing a different stage in the grieving and coping journey.
Mrs Eliza Connor (played by Jacqueline McKenzie), Josh Connor’s wife, represents the denial phase of grief. Four years after her sons are reported dead, Eliza is unable to openly acknowledge their death. Instead, she has retreated into a memory of her sons’ childhood. For the audience, her coping mechanism represents a very obvious and sad form of obsessive behaviour emanating from grief. Eliza’s response to her own grief is a cautionary reminder that not everyone wins their struggle to re-establish themselves following grief.
Major Hasan (played by Yılmaz Erdoğan) is an Ottoman Army officer who fought the Allies at Gallipoli. A taciturn man, Hasan must swallow his pride and watch his country being dismembered by the victorious Allies. Hasan represents the archetypal soldier with his unswerving dedication to his duty. In many ways, his actions in the film are heroic in a male machismo sense and they would normally pass unremarked as a response to grief and loss. However, after years of war, he cannot go back to his old life. His uniform represents everything he holds dear, everything his lost, and everything he has left. But his time with Connor changes him. Through witnessing and sharing an obsession inspired by someone-else grief, he comes to realise that life is far more nuanced than his own grief had allowed himself to feel.
Ayshe (played by Olga Kurylenko) is an Ottoman war widow endeavouring to hold the fragments of her life together. On the one hand, she must raise and provide for her young son whilst enduring her daily grief. On the other hand, she must fend off coercion by her deceased husband’s brother to marry him as tradition demands. To manage her pain, she pretends to her son that his father is still alive. However, on some level, she buys into that pretence in order to make each day bearable without her husband.
In Part Six of this 6 part series, I will continue my reflection on these psychological journeys.
***Story Spoiler*** in case you have not yet seen the film, watch out for Part 6.
Photo Copyright Details:
|Title: The_Water_Diviner_poster Description: Poster for the film The Water Diviner Date: 1 October 2014 Source: Wikipedia Commons, which derived the image from commingsoon.net. This image is of a poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher or the creator of the work depicted. However, this low resolution image is reproduced with the intention of providing a commentary on the film.|