14 ene. 2013

My Review: The Impossible (8/10)

¨The most scary bit for me was when I came up and I was all on my own.¨

The Impossible is Spanish director, Juan Antonio Bayona’s, follow up to his 2007 hit El Orfanato (The Orphanage). He has decided to change the genre, but still manages to direct a great film. This is a very powerful and emotional family drama about the true story of the tsunami that hit the coast of Asia in 2004 and a family’s struggle for survival. The film is based on the main character’s story: Maria Belon and the screenplay was adapted by Sergio Sanchez who had previously worked with Bayona in The Orphanage as well. The story was really well developed although sometimes the film felt a little over the top with the melodrama. Films always add a few elements to spice up the story a bit so I can’t say how true this movie is to what actually happened in real life, but what I can say is that the Spanish family this film is based on is played here by a British one so there are some changes. Anyway, The Impossible works really well as a family drama and many people left the theater with tears in their eyes. This is a tear-jerker, so if you’re an emotional person this film will pull your strings, especially through Naomi Watts’s performance who gives a powerful and a very physically challenging one. Her Oscar nomination was very well earned although she probably won’t be the winner. The film also succeeds in the technical aspect as the tsunami is beautifully shot and one of the greatest scenes in the movie considering it is one of the worst national catastrophes of our time. The imagery will remain in your head.

Henry (Ewan McGregor) and Maria (Naomi Watts) travel to Thailand for their Christmas holidays alongside their three children: Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin), and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast). They are having the perfect family vacation in the beautiful coastline of Thailand in a lovely villa. Along with several other tourists they spend Christmas Eve together and the next morning the kids open their gifts. Everything seems to be going lovely, and then all of a sudden out of the blue a giant wave comes roaring across the entire coastline taking everything along its path. We follow the wave as it washes over the entire place, then the camera follows Maria and Lucas as the current has washed them far away from the villa. Maria is badly injured, but she is glad to have Lucas by her side. This is the story of their fight for survival and struggle to reunite with the rest of their family. The tsunami scene is terrifying as we see the terrible effects it had on the population, and isn’t an easy watch, but it is worth it because it has an uplifting story.

Naomi Watts has been receiving a lot of recognition for her work in this film, and she is truly amazing, but I thought Ewan McGregor also delivers a great performance as well and many people have ignored him. The children in this film are also great here, especially Tom Holland who should have received a nomination for his work in this film. He shares a great chemistry with Naomi Watts and holds up his performance to hers. My only complaint for this movie is that it goes overboard with the melodrama and intends to have everyone leave the theater with tears in their eyes, but it truly is an uplifting story. It is worth the watch and I recommend it because it reminds us that with faith we can achieve impossible things, and that we shouldn’t take things for granted because things can change drastically from one moment to the next. Life is fragile, but love can conquer all.


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