It's been less than a decade since the Boxing Day tsunami that took more than 230,000 lives in South East Asia. Reliving it at the movies seems, initially, tasteless. How could a piece of entertainment possibly do justice to such a horrific event? But The Impossible rises to the occasion in what must be the most powerful, harrowing and moving disaster film ever made. Zeroing in on one family’s true-life horror, it spares the audience little of their grisly despair, to the point where viewers will find themselves on the verge of trauma as the war-like aftermath unfolds.
Not many films have the ability to shock these days but perhaps because Kiwis are no more impervious to natural disasters than anyone else, The Impossible strikes a nerve. Much of this is down to the impressive production: coastal Thai villages are wiped out, (miniatures were destroyed, not that you’d realise it), aerial shots show the mass devastation, and underwater footage recreates the turmoil of bodies colliding with debris. It is also largely to the credit of Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), and scriptwriters Sergio G Sanchez and Maria Belon, whose raw, non-sentimental handling of the story leaves the emoting to the music. They communicate a sense of both the epic scale of the disaster and intimacy during the characters’ isolated moments.
Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland, along with youngsters Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast, play the family on which the story is based and are all masterfully genuine in their anguish. At times the film claws desperately at something to warm to, using the prevailing spirit of goodwill among those affected as a kind of breather for an otherwise emotionally pummeled audience. It’s often so horrific it’s almost impossible to watch, and you may find yourself wondering why you are. But Bayona also lends it a sense of grace, making the film, in equal measure, upsetting and uplifting, hellish and heart- warming. Its effects will linger long after you leave the theatre.
Enjoyed with reservations...
The disaster part of the movie (when the tsumani hits) is very intense - in fact the whole movie features a lot of pain - its hard to watch. But something feels slightly bad taste about it... a true-disaster movie - entertainment about the real death of hundreds of thousands of people. Dunno... harrowing, gripping film nonetheless.
A Wave of Emotions
This film, The Impossible, brought my family and I close to tears. The acting from the leads, including the children, were great, adding to the believability of the film. The Impossible is very intense in parts, especially the wave scene, however I felt as though it was never of bad taste.
This is a film that is based on a true story of survival in the Thailand Tsunami and if the film wasn't as real/raw as it is, I feel, they would be treating the 'true story' selling point of the film as a bit of a joke.
The tsunami effected thousands, if not millions of people's lives and this film will effect everyone who watches it. This film will bring you to tears, it was near impossible not to cry.
If you get the chance to visit the cinema in the near future go see this film, it will affect you, believe me.
Impossible to predict the ending
Much like 'Titanic' there's no need for any spoilers, because you've already seen everything in the trailers. The acting was to be expected (outstanding) and the special effects were amazing. Obviously its the same as your all thinking, family, wave, seperation, disaster, stuff, ending... Suppose its a good "stay home its wet kinda movie" and I'm certain if you go with friends there'l be some great after movie converstaions from this.
Genre : drama
4/5 : Its an amazingly good film, however just not my cuppa tea, bit too dramatic, still great watch.
Uncomfortably Eurocentric but well made
Hmmm, as one reviewer said, it's about a rich white family and their spoiled holiday...not the hundred of thousands whose lives were devasted. But it does give an understanding about what a tsunami is actually like, which is makes for a powerful drama visuals. It's a well made film, but why couldn't they be true to the story and have a black-haired Spanish family rather than blonde Brits? My 15 year old daughter likes horror films and watches plenty but said this was the scariest film she ever has seen.
It's true, I do love disaster films & am very biased towards them but no-one can ignore the fact this is an amazingly powerful film. Both in terms of grueling realism, incredible effects/production & outstanding acting. Naomi left me speechless, sweeping like a child & was so believable I could feel her pain. It's about time the Academy recognize her for this amazing talent. It'll be a crime if she doesn't receive the Oscar. All in all this movie is a testament of the human spirit in times of peril & serves as an equally beautiful & devastating tribute to what this family endured like so many other tourists holidaying in Thailand on 26/12/04. Lest we forget