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The Impossible (2012)

Updated on January 20, 2013
The real family that this film is based on
The real family that this film is based on

The Impossible

Director: Juan Antonio Bayona

Writers: Sergio G. Sánchez, María Belón

Cast: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Marta Etura, Sönke Möhring, Geraldine Chaplin, Ploy Jindachote, Jomjaoi Sae-Limh, Johan Sundberg, Jan Roland Sundberg, La-Orng Thongruang, Tor Klathaley, Douglas Johansson

Synopsis: An account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity

Wave That Shook The World - Documentary about the 2004 tsunami.

Sometimes merely surviving can be a miracle in itself...

Since the beginning of movies, we've watched films to escape our mundane routine lives. Some prefer horrors, while others dabble in romantic features. Others might enjoy a musical, while others prefer an action and adventure type film. Whatever the case may be, we often look to films for stories, where almost anything is possible; regardless of how impossible it may seem, yet they defy our imaginations. Indeed, many of cinemas greatest filmmakers have produced arguably some of the greatest stories ever old.

However, sometimes there are some true stories that not even some of our greatest filmmakers could conjure up on their own; such is the case with "The Impossible." In this film, there is no superhero swinging from rooftops, nor is there any kind of alien invasion. No, this film is essentially a disaster movie about one family that almost lost everything, due to the horrific tsunami disaster of 2004, yet somehow miraculously survived the odds to find each other again. That in itself is a miracle that not even some of our greatest screenwriters could fathom. Although Hollywood has produced a lot of endearing stories over the years, sometimes the greatest story of all can be found in simply finding the will to survive against insurmountable odds.

Having said all that, I certainly wouldn't say this is the best drama that I've ever seen, but it's certainly one of the more interesting ones out there. Not because it's a based on a real life story, as we've seen plenty of Hollywood movies based on real life stories that quite frankly for lack of a better term....sucked. No, what makes this film endearingly interesting is how grounded it is when it's presenting the story.

Granted, it would've been very easy for a film like this to fall into every cliche in the book; given it's premise. Yet, this movie is too good for something like that. No, it merely portrays the sad reality of what one family had to go through during the tsunami disaster. Showing how when the tsunami did hit, the fear they felt about the possibility they may never see each other again. Or that some of their loved ones might have been...dare I even say...dead... As I stated earlier, this isn't the best drama out there, but it's one of the most interesting ones. Not only that, but it's arguably one of the most touching ones as well.

A lot of that has to do with the realism that this movie presents, as Juan Antonio Bayona, and his team of writers, do an excellent job nailing the details of such a horrific aftermath of one of the world's worst natural disasters, in recent history. Plus, it doesn't hurt when you have Oscar worthy performances from such great actors like Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

However, what makes this movie even more special is the performance of young Tom Holland, who plays the eldest son, Lucas. Throughout the movie, we see his transition from a moody yet frightened young man, to suddenly become the brave soul aiding his injured mother when she needed him the most; among others.

Although I will admit the film does tend to drag at times, but other than that, it's actually a very good film with a great character driven story arc that'll captivate it's viewers from beginning to end.

Granted, the story isn't really that complex, as it merely tells the story of one family that endures the horrific tsunami disaster, in Thailand, back in 2004. However, it's the way it's told is what makes this film all the more special. After the tsunami hits, we only see Lucas and his mom survive the disaster at first; while the film carefully never divulges what happened to Lucas' two brothers and father. This helps build up tension, as the audience can't help but wonder if they survived or not. Plus, it also gives the viewers more of a chance to get to know who these characters are intimately; while showing Lucas' gradual progression from a frightened child to a young man that valiantly aids his wounded mother; while aiding others as well.

It's not until later we find out what happened to Lucas' other family members, and from there, it becomes a real question on whether or not they'll see each other again. The father fears the worst, and searches desperately for his family if only to make sure they're okay. It's a touching story of survival, and how adversity can sometimes bring us closer together with our loved ones when we need them the most.

If you haven't seen "The impossible" yet, then you're definitely missing out, as it's worth seeing in theaters at a rating of three and a half out of four. Once you see it, you'll never be the same again....


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