A powerful story based on one family's survival of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, The Impossible
stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor and is directed by J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage).
Based on a true story, The Impossible
is the unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria (Naomi Watts) and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, The Impossible
is a journey to the core of the human heart.
There's little point pretending that The Impossible
is an easy film to watch. It simply isn't. As haunting a piece of cinema as you're likely to see with a 12 certificate attached, it's the story of a family who take a holiday to Thailand. Headed up by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, said family's life is turned upside down by the horrific tsunami that devastated the region back in 2004.
Punches simply aren't pulled here. Based on true events, The Impossible has changed some of the details, but not lessened any of the impact. The tsunami itself is stunningly realised on screen, but it's the drama afterwards, and the tragedy, that sticks heavily in the mind. It's not a relentlessly downbeat film, with some extraordinary things to relate about the human spirit, but it is one that's inevitably very emotional.
Director Juan Antonio Bayona, previously responsible for The Orphanage, is studious in his handling of the material, making the story an accessible and yet not glamorous one. And his diligent work, mixed with some superb performances, make The Impossible an important, absorbing and enduring piece of cinema. It's not the kind of film for a Friday night in front of the telly, but it is one that demands to be seen. --Jon Foster