True story of family's tsunami struggle
The Impossible (12A, 114 mins)
Thriller/Action/Romance. Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom
Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Dominic Power, Geraldine
Chaplin. Director: Juan Antonio Bayona.
Mother Nature is a cruel mistress.
She can nurture and nourish, and conjure new life in the most
desolate regions, yet she can also destroy without warning or
On December 26, 2004, while many in the West were bloated with
post-Christmas excess, communities across southern Asia faced
An earthquake off the coast of northern Sumatra displaced huge
volumes of water, resulting in a massive tsunami that ripped
through the region, razing lush wilderness and luxury resorts
packed with vacationing families.
Thousands of people were killed and many more were left homeless
by a wall of roaring, churning water.
"This is the true story of one of those families," declares The
Impossible, a harrowing drama about five people caught up in the
disaster, who mustered formidable strength and courage to search
for each other amid scenes of heartbreaking loss.
Adapted by screenwriter Sergio G Sanchez from the nightmarish
recollections of survivors Maria and Enrique Belon, Juan Antonia
Bayona's film packs a mighty emotional punch with every expertly
There but for the grace of God and Mother Nature go all of
Henry (Ewan McGregor) and Maria (Naomi Watts) arrive in the
tropical paradise of Thailand with their three sons, Lucas (Tom
Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast).
They open Christmas presents on the patio overlooking the sea,
unaware of the horror to come.
The following day, flocks of terrified birds take to the skies,
heralding a wall of water that careens through the complex.
Maria and Lucas are carried away by the surge and when the water
eventually recedes, they hobble through mud and detritus in search
Meanwhile, Henry is forced to leave his two youngest boys in the
care of strangers in order to learn the fate of his wife and eldest
"I've never looked after anyone before. I'm scared," pleads
seven-year-old Thomas, to no avail.
Directed with aplomb by Bayona, The Impossible recreates the
tsunami using giant water tanks to drench the lead cast, augmented
with digital effects that give a sense of the confusion and terror
that fateful winter's day.
Watts wrings out copious tears as a critically ill mother who
puts on a brave face in front of her terrified boy.
McGregor has the less showy role but still tugs heartstrings
with an anguished telephone call back home to distraught relatives,
his voice cracking with every shell-shocked word.
Teenage newcomer Holland impresses most, bearing the emotional
weight of deeply moving scenes as if he has been acting all of his
He doesn't strike a false note as the camera stares unflinching
into his bloodshot eyes.
Staring back is a boy forced to cast aside childish things in
order to make life-or-death decisions that could leave him orphaned
in a foreign land.
:: Swearing :: No sex :: Violence :: Rating : 8/10
To find local screenings for The Impossible, click here
- Click here for more What's On news...
- Click here for more news from across the county...