• Gareth Bradwick

The Water Man ★★

David Oyelowu

Starring Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina, Maria Bello, David Oyelowu, Lonnie Chavis

In his directorial debut, David Oyelowo stars in this Netflix original about a young boy who hunts the legend of The Water Man who he thinks will help cure his sick mother.

Although a little clunky in places, overall, the film works. There is a ‘straight to DVD’ feel about the proceedings but that’s mainly due to the script rather than the cast.

The most playful and joyful moments come when we get to peek into the graphic novel world that Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) seems to live in. There could easily have been double the amount of animation and the movie would have been all the better for it.

An area this would have worked in is in the themes that The Water Man is attempting to deal with. There are existential plot points here which a children’s film doesn’t deal with often. It’s a bold move and although it works well enough, it is only explored up to a point. Hopefully, however, it can help start healthy conversations with the young people who watch this.

A deep drama for the younger generation, The Water Man has themes and a story that are original but don’t quite hit the mark.


The Water Man available now on Netflix


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