The Stainless Steel Rat (stainsteelrat) wrote,
The Stainless Steel Rat

Film Review: The Impossible (2012)

The Impossible (2012). Directed by Juan Bayona, and based on the real life story of the Belón family. The film starts in December 2004, with the Belón family flying to Thailand for a holiday. They spend several days at their resort, until Boxing Day morning. That morning the mother, Maria (Naomi Watts), is reading a book by the side of the pool. She feels a strong wind, which blows a loose page from the book, which she chases to where it adheres on a glass wall. Something's wrong though, as birds overhead fly away from the sea, and the glass wall trembles as if there's an earthquake. The first indication that something is seriously wrong are palm trees collapsing on the distant beach, as a huge wall of water approaches. The father, Henry (Ewan McGregor), is with his two youngest sons in the swimming pool. He grabs them both as the tsunami hits the resort. Maria screams at her eldest son, Lucas, who is next to the swimming pool. Futilely he dives in, and swims towards his mother, as the enormous wave crashes over them. I'm not sure what to make of The Impossible, at least in terms of the (true) story. On the one hand it's an incredible tale, made even more incredible by the extent the real mother, María Belón, worked with the screenwriter and director - we're assured of its accuracy. On the other hand, although it is inevitably very sad to begin with, it then starts to switch to feel good, as the family try and find each other. That doesn't quite feel right against the backdrop of the awful loss of life that happened. Perhaps not enough of the latter was featured in the film as a contrast to the incredibly fortunate, although would the average cinema-going audience flock to see a grimmer tale? Story balance aside, Watts and McGregor are both good, as are the three children. The effects are suitably frightening, and the soundtrack is pleasant enough. Overall it's a good story, made very poignant by the source material. As above, I just felt the story needed more of a view into the tragic side of the tsunami. Perhaps also a view of those who had lived in the area devastated by the tsunami, although that would probably require a whole 'nother film. Recommended for drama fans who enjoy non-fiction. 4/5 (Good)
Tags: reviews
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