Friday, 8 February 2013

The Impossible (2012)

Henry: But you know, you know, the most scary bit for me? Thomas: When the water hit? Henry: No. After that, when I came up, I was on my own. That was the scariest part. And when I saw the two of you climbing to the tree, I didn't feel so scared anymore. I knew I wasn't on my own. You see? 

Another big contender for this year's Academy Awards. This film had me pondering from the first time I saw the trailer, whether I should watch it or not. The reason being is that, I knew, from beforehand, that this was going to be an extraordinary story, based on true events; events that happened not so long ago, to a family just like any other family. 

'The Impossible' tells the story of a British family on Christmas holiday at a beach resort in Thailand is torn apart when a deadly tsunami devastates the area. The film follows the seriously wounded Maria and her eldest son Lucas as they struggle to safety,not knowing whether Maria's husband and their two younger sons are dead or alive. (

The story starts off beat, just your average family going abroad for holidays when disaster strikes; the deadly tsunami. I shall be honest, I was not prepared to see what followed. It's not so much the fact that nothing like this has ever been made on film or TV, but more of the fact that this really happened, this family really did live all this chaos and devastation. 

Up till the very end, I was very unsure of the outcome that this disaster would have on this family. All this major drama, would not have been made possible if it wasn't for the compelling script of Sergio.G. Sanchez (El Orfanato). He guides you through with such horrified sentiments that it takes a lot not to be touched or empathize with the people's drama. 

The camera work and special effects take on a vital role in this film as they journey with the viewer through the disaster and the aftermath of the characters' survival. 

For me this film worked in so many levels, not only because of the reality of this disaster, but because of the actors. Seeing Naomi Watts (Mulholland Dr., King Kong, 21 Grams, The Ring)  undergoing the traumas and seeing her so gruesomely wounded, unable to go on, but still wanting to be there for her only son left, it is quite simply tearful. 

A very emotional performance goes out to Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge!, The Island, Big Fish) also, the father who would do most about anything to find his wife and eldest son. McGregor gives a tantalizing performance when he breaks down and bursts into tears, days after the deadly tsunami, and in the company of strangers, promises to his family back home that he will do anything in his power to find the rest of his family and he will bring everyone back home safe and sound. 

All of this of course, is a result of the tremendous achievement of the director, Juan Antonio Bayona (El Orfanato). Alongside, script-writer partner, Bayona, a Spanish director, manages only to grasp every viewer's attention for these earth-shuttering events, but also transmit the pain, the actual raw physical and emotional pain that his actors were experiencing. 

This film is a well deserved one, worthy not to be snob-ed by the masses or the critics and it is definitely one of this year's must-see's. Albeit it may not be up for Best Picture or Best Direction, it did get a Best Actress nomination nod, something which is well deserved, as Watts delivers a role so human that has you gasping for air yourself.

Definitely worth a look!

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