sat 02/07/2022

The Impossible | reviews, news & interviews

The Impossible

The Impossible

Ewan McGregor stars in a film that overpowers because we can’t handle the truth

Wave goodbye: the tsunami arriving on Boxing Day in 'The Impossible'

You will cry primal tears by the end of The Impossible, a family disaster drama by director Juan Antonio Bayona - because we can’t handle its overpowering truth. A delver of emotion, Bayona (The Orphanage) bases this spectacular drama on Sergio G Sánchez’s clear if sometimes curious script; the story itself comes from Maria Belon’s tale of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand.

Here, the Spanish family has been changed to a British one: Naomi Watts plays Maria herself, married to Ewan McGregor’s Henry. Travelling to Thailand for a Christmas holiday with children Lucas, Thomas and Simon (Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast), these two young professionals settle in for what should be a leisurely Boxing Day.

It's an impossible story that, unlike so many, really needed to be told

Filmed using the most amazing technology in all forms of CGI, models and underwater tanks, what happens next is - yes - the impossible. The family, along with the rest of the coastal region, is torn apart by a tsunami the size of which we have seen from this level only in YouTube snippets. The destruction, as it happens, verges on being too surreal to comprehend, and thankfully Bayona spares us the real human horror at first. All you care about is what’s going to become of everyone.

Without telling the story here and ruining it, The Impossible is by design emotionally overwhelming. It puts the audience in the shoes of rescuers and survivors with an eerie, ineluctable immediacy. There are a few glitches here and there - why would people separate children from parents? Would this character really do that? - but they are minor compared to the simple brutality and wonder of nature and survival. Ultimately, The Impossible is about all forms of love and the pain that can bring.

Watts, McGregor, Holland, Joslin and Pendergast turn in exceptional performances. The special effects are arresting, as is the production design. In fact, this is a film that achieves its title: an impossible story that, unlike so many, really needed to be told. Despite accusations of emotional patness or complacency, this drama is an urgent, alarming punch of love to the solar plexus.

This drama is an urgent, alarming punch of love to the solar plexus

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Comments

I really loved The Impossible,is a so natural,so strong,so sad movie,it is really my favorite of the year. The direction is great,the story,the special effects almost real too. Naomi Watts gave the best female performace of the year,a wonderful performace,a real tour de force. All the others cast menbers gave memorable performaces too. The Impossible is cruel,strong but in other way very very emotional.

Touching monument to familial love...the acting by Watts, McGregor, and Holland is exceptional. The award-quality filming of the tsunami looks like the real thing.

this film,is so inspirational it brought tears to my eyes,its not the fact of the natural disaster which is most touching but on the other hand that this is a true story I never thought things in 2004 would have been such a blood bath.so many different links were connected to this film so many other true events like the little boy Daniel.Its an amazing performance so strong in the way the actors feel and just stop an think for a second that out there right now is that family on which this tragic story was persude against. AN AMAZING AMAZING FILM BEST FILM IVE SEEN YET.

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