Quickie: The Impossible

the impossible

The Impossible tells the story of one family’s extraordinary ordeal in the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.

Starting out with the slow fade to black of the words based on a TRUE STORY Director Juan Antonio Bayona’s film never seems to truly get away from its predictable real life restrictions; but credit is earned for taking a constrained story and applying enough artistic flair to capture the exotic Thai paradise and a later trance like passage as Noami Watts’ mother battles her horrendous injuries.

The capturing of the cataclysmic wave is deliberately intimate and terrifying, avoiding the temptation to overuse grandstanding shots; with the full destructive power demonstrated close up there is no shying away from graphic injuries to drive home what must have truly been a truly horrific experience.

Telling the most part of the separated Watts and eldest son Lucas (Tom Holland) works to tie the bond between the two, as Watts deteriorates, Holland puts in a strong performance for his years to courageously help other victims.

The subsequent shift to show Dad’s (Ewan McGregor) efforts to somehow reunite his family often gets painfully tantalising in passages of so near and yet so far and difficult choices that spread the family further afield.

The further attention given to others victims tends to dilute the intimate focus on the McGregor Family but serves to effectively portray the wider damaging events and the heart-breaking plight of the many isolated and orphaned children of the disaster.

There is a slightly disconnected feel with varying levels of quality, believable acting and somehow, in all the drama and the high emotion, the cast overall fall just short of delivering a truly convincing play on the real trauma; Though The Impossible is still a respectful and effective telling of a very worthwhile story.

new 3 star

16 responses to “Quickie: The Impossible

  1. Wow, yeah, I was much more impressed by this film than you were, I had it in my top ten last year, I thought it was incredible. McGregor and Watts were both insanely good here, and the special effects sequences put you right in the middle of that terrifying event. 😯

    This one was a really really moving film, I thought Kev… I’m more at 4.5/5 stars than 3. 😦

    • Thanks for commenting. wow indeed but it’s just what I felt, it somehow didn’t get me like I know it should have. Hard for me to pinpoint why really, just didn’t totally feel it. I’m am glad you liked it as I take long consideration to score these things. I know it scores highly in most places, I can take being in a minority if that is the case but I gotta call it as I see it hey?

  2. As my home country was heavily affected by this tsunami, I haven’t got the courage to watch this yet.

    “…there is no shying away from graphic injuries to drive home what must have truly been a truly horrific experience” I’m afraid this would hit too close to home for me.

    • No sorry I’m probably in a minority but I gotta stand tough lol. We all like things the majority say we shouldn’t but what would be the point of individuality then? You Carry on loving movie 43 buddy and be comfortable with it haha! Haven’t seen it myself yet

  3. Hi! I just popped over to check your site and like it. I just watched The Impossible the other day, and thought it was good, too. I was impressed with Ewan McG.’s performance. His breakdown on the phone was very well done. I’ve written a blog about him under “Scottish Films and Memories” — anyway, I love to write about films and such, and would welcome your thoughts if you have the time. Cheers! Cindy

    • yeh that’s the word I would look for too, seemed to have an agenda but I liked it, just didn’t feel it like I know I should and many have

  4. Great write-up! I gave the movie 8/10, it was a bit too melodramatic and emotionally manipulative at times but it was still very well made and heartbreaking.

    • yeh thats a good way to put it, emotionally manipulative. Very well made and great wave scene that didn’t grandstand too much. Thanks Sati.

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