Wow. I think straight from the start you have to say that. This is a hugely powerful and emotional drama that details human suffering on a level I don’t think I’ve seen before, particularly as you know this was real.
The Impossible tells the story of Maria Belon and her family who were on holiday when the 2004 Tsunami hit the Thailand cost. Apparently Belon spent a long time with director Juan Antonio Bayone and actress Naomi Watts to ensure the movie was as close to what actually happened to them as possible.
Watts goes through all manor of hell during the film and spends the vast majority of the time with just her and her eldest son Lucas, played brilliantly by Tom Holland, as they are swept along with the water not knowing what has happened to the rest of their family.
Ewan McGregor plays Henry, the husband, and he portrays the ordeal very well as he spends time looking for his wife. All of the family are injured in some way or other in the tsunami and Bayone doesn’t flinch from showing just how they are injured as well showing the people who weren’t quite so lucky.
The effects are simply superb and Bayone also does fantastically well to put you in the right place at the right time to gain a sense, if that’s even remotely possible, of what people must have gone through and seen. Perhaps the biggest triumph though is the sound, used to simply stunning effect throughout the movie but none more so then in the opening minutes of the film.
The only downside, and it’s a minor one, is that it would have been nice at the end of the movie had they actually told us some facts about the tsunami and the Belon family. Some 230,000 people are estimated to have died across fourteen countries and Belon, now a spokesperson for the victims of the tsunami, has said on a number of occasions that she is one of many who suffered and survived.
That said this is a remarkable movie that I would recommend seeing on the big screen with a good surround sound system.