Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland
Director: J.A. Bayona
Running Time: 114 mins
The Impossible is a Spanish film, and a true story, about a London family, while on holiday at a resort in Thailand, who are swept up by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and have to survive by any means necessary.
This film was fantastic. I thought that, for the most part, it rejected attempts at tugging at your heartstrings, and really showcased the ordeal and horror that the people directly affected by this tsunami had to go through.
The beginning of this film, that is the first hour, was one of the best sequences I’ve ever seen. The story doesn’t try at all to build up the characters of the family, so that you become so emotionally attached to them you’ll be crying your eyes out by the end.
Instead, what the film does so brilliantly is immediately throw you right in at the deep end, and when the tsunami hits, it’s seemingly as unexpected as it would have been if you were right there yourself, so that realistic representation of the feelings of those at the centre of this disaster really makes this film a lot more exciting to watch.
Also, the narrative style of the first part of this film was excellent. After the tsunami hits, you’re left with just one part of the family, desperately trying to survive. What this does is simplify the story to its barest bones, talking, for the first part at least, only about survival, which is thrilling to watch.
What this solitary quality also does so well is really bring you as close as possible to the main characters of the story, so much so that you can both really sympathise with them, as well as feel as if you are in the middle of this horrific disaster yourself, increasing the excitement all the more.
I would say that the only thing that disappointed me about this film was the final part. The narrative takes a big turn, and retracts from that extremely solitary quality that there was initially, adding in a little bit of Hollywood cheese as well, which took away some of the impact towards the end of the film for me.
Overall, this gets an 8.0, because it was gripping, emotional and thrilling to watch, as well as a realistic and respectful representation of this terrible disaster.