The Water Man is the upcoming family adventure drama that marks the directorial debut of David Oyelowo. He’s better known for his work in front of the camera following roles in movies like Selma, Nightingale, and The Butler, and he also provided the voice for Agent Kallus in Star Wars: Rebels. It was written by Emma Needell, also making her feature writing debut.
Lonnie Chavis (This Is Us) stars as a young boy who is very close to his ailing mother (Rosario Dawson), but is struggling to deal with her rapidly progressing illness. While researching possible cures he stumbles upon the local legend of the Water Man, a supposedly immortal being who lives out in the woods. Believing the Water Man holds the potential for a cure for his mother’s illness he, together with his friend Jo (Amiah Miller) who claims to have seen the mysterious man, ventures out into the woods in order to track him down.
The official plot synopsis is as follows:
The Water Man follows a sensitive young boy as he embarks on a mission to help his gravely ill mother by locating the mythic Water Man, who may carry the secret to everlasting life.
Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) and his mother (Rosario Dawson) share a special bond. She supports his daydreaming and artistic pursuits, while his frequently-on-the-road father, Amos (Oyelowo), with whom Gunner shares a strained relationship, has other ideas about where his son’s interests should lie. Gunner and his dad attempt to smooth over their differences for the sake of the family, but when his mom’s sickness worsens, Gunner disappears into stacks of books on both science and the supernatural in search of possible cures.
When Gunner and his rebellious friend Jo (Amiah Miller) go missing during their quest into the Water Man’s mysterious forest, Amos must immerse himself in his son’s world to find them and put his family back together.
Let’s take a look:
This is definitely a movie for younger audiences, I don’t really see all that much here for us older kids. It looks well directed and the performances are solid, but the plot and dialogue are very simple, earnest, and sentimental. The Water Man wears its heart on its sleeve.
What do you think? The Water Man is due for release in the US on 7 May. It also stars Alfred Molina, Maria Bello, Ted Rooney, John Henry Whitaker, and Adam Dunlap.
Last Updated: April 15, 2021