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Emotionally manipulative tsunami saga,
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This review is from: The Impossible [DVD]  (DVD)
This very popular film is an emotionally manipulative - not to mention emotionally draining - tale of a family caught up in the Indian Ocean tsunami while on holiday in Thailand, and their very graphic (for a 12) adventures in trying to survive and locate one another. The effects are convincing and the story quite gripping despite a long passage where things are unnecessarily spun out (despite the two hours length) as family members' paths cross without them seeing each other.
However, despite the story being based on actual events the protagonists never really convince, and there's a good reason: the real family were Spanish, but as the target audience were American they were changed to British, and even then they don't talk like us - "hey!" is their only greeting and "okay" frequently seems to mark the limits of their vocabulary, in what must be some of the most lazily written dialogue in recent cinema.
There's also plenty of heart-tugging to the point of melodrama as the plot wades into sentimentality as cloying as the thick waters the cast spend a lot of their time trudging through, including one bizarre sequence with Geraldine Chaplin commenting lyrically on the deaths of stars.
Sentimentality, said Carl Jung, is the superstructure on brutality, and the real problem about a film like this is that it has been made to flatter the role of wealthy whites in their survival of primitive Third World conditions, with little concern for the many thousands of Thais who died. Personally I would have preferred to have seen the bigger picture.