The Impossible – Review (Courier #14)

28 Mar

Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona, director of 2007’s well-regarded horror, The Orphanage, returns to the silver screen this year with The Impossible. The film already has plenty of positive buzz and has been a huge success in Bayona’s native Spain. The film’s leading lady, Naomi Watts, has recently been Oscar-nominated for her performance in the film, which is testament to the fact that there is some great acting in this somewhat controversial Asian tsunami film.

The film is based on the true story of the Belon family on holiday in Thailand, who are caught in one of the worst natural disasters in human history, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Actress Naomi Watts plays the mother, Maria, and Ewan McGregor the father, Henry. The family includes three children: Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast). After the tsunami hits their hotel, the family is split into two. The film follows their desperate efforts to stay together and reunite, seemingly an impossible task amongst the mayhem and carnage of the tsunami aftermath.

Once past the numerous controversies, such as further ‘Westernising’ the film by focusing on tourists and not locals, using an English family over the original Spanish one and the ‘too soon’ notion with the disaster only 8 years ago, The Impossible is a brilliant film. Superb acting, especially from Naomi Watts and the young Tom Holland, as well as brilliant sound and visual effects help in making this film an emotional, raw and harrowing tale.

VERDICT:Powerful and visceral, this melodrama pulls no punches. The tsunami sequence pulls you in and only releases you when the last waves have subsided. This simple story is breath taking and unforgettable.


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