Director J.A. Bayona
Starring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pedergast, Sönke Möhring, Geraline Chaplin
Screenplay Sergio G. Sánchez
The Impossible is a simple story covering the most incredibly horrific event one could ever imagine happening to a person, a family or community. In this story, we see the Bennett family, on a vacation to Thailand during the time to 2004 Christmas tsunami struck. The family, who are all in the vicinity of a swimming pool at a resort, is split into two groups. This story is about not only their journey, but a demonstration of the spirit of humanity that can rise to the occasion afterwards.
The details are devastating on an interpersonal level, and the visage is bereft with carnage. The interactions between survivors, however, bring warmth and hope to the viewer. As with any tragedy, there are those affected, those who run from it, and those who run to it, looking to help. The latter, we understand, is the hight of human potential.
Seeing the journey through the eyes of the children give an even greater effect on the watcher. Lucas (Holland) is the oldest boy, finds himself pushing forward as he is inundated with challenges and events that force him to make huge decisions. Holland’s acting is impressive and compassionate right in tune with his years. Watts, herself nominated for Best Actress, takes a back seat to the boy playing her son, as she spends much of the film incapacitated.
McGregor makes a choice early on that he spends much of the rest of the film debating. His decision was debated in our house too, giving a prime example of how hard it is for anyone to be certain of their choices in the chaos and aftermath of disaster.
The storytelling and direction is worthy of the story and it is respectful to all of those involved. People are treated as equals and with much decency, which gives each character an amount of depth that is often hard to attain in drama’s based on true events.
If you have a hard time watching tense disaster films that lean heavy towards the real, this may be a tough one, even with it’s PG-13 rating. If you do stick it out, you will be rewarded.
(***** out of *****)
P.S. – After watching the deleted scenes this morning, it is more understandable why some of the decisions that were made. I think it would have made the movie better to add a couple of the scenes, but it worked as it was just fine.