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The Impossible Review: An Emotional Drama

The 2004 Tsunami was one of the biggest and most destructive natural disasters in recent memory, creating damage from India to Indonesia and causing at least 230,000 deaths. One of the worst affected countries was Thailand and thus was born The Impossible, a film from the creative team behind the horror movie The Orphanage, director J.A. Bayona and writer Sergio G. Sánchez set out to show both a personal story as well as tell a wider tale about the Tsunami affecting that area. Henry and Maria Bennett (Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts) and their children Lucas, Tomas and Simon (Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast) are a British family who go to Thailand for a Christmas vacation. But they are separated when the Tsunami hits, with Naomi and Lucas caught in the wave and ending up seeing the chaos and the confusion that the disaster caused. As Lucas battles in a hospital to get his mother the medical attention she needs, Henry sets out to find Maria and Lucas, something that seems to be a hopeless cause. One of the best features of The Impossible is Bayona’s great ability to show both the scale of the disaster and impact it has on the landscape and people whilst still showing a personal story. Bayona recreates this with his wide shots and helicopter shots, that recreate the massive devastation the wave caused to both to manmade structures and the natural landscape, showing the large death toll and he is able to immerse you into the chaos of the aftermath of the tight hospital area with vivid detail. For a movie with a PG-13 rating, it is surprisingly gory and Bayona does not put his punches when showing the extent of Maria’s injuries. Bayona also gives us an instance sequence when the Tsunami waves hit as Maria and Lucas struggle to reach each with all the dirt and debris in the water. It is feat of special effects, drama and action. Bayona knew the impact of the Tsunami and brought out the harrowing nature of the disaster in its fullest. McGregor, Watts and Holland all give very emotional performance and the trio are excellent bring out their characters in the themes of parenthood and the child-parent relationship and bond. Despite the subject manner of The Impossible the actors and the director bring out the theme of hope and how they either must keep it or how they can provide it to others. The Impossible is a weepy of a movie and it wants to brings its audience on an emotional rollercoaster, but it can be a bit manipulative at times. Bayona does this a number of times with children being put in peril and families being reunited in slow motion and sentimental music to match. This is an obvious attempt to tug at the audiences heart strings; but it is at times over done and over played as it tries to elicit as much emotion as it can muster. The Impossible is a very actuate movie that excels that showing both a personal story and the wider situation of the disaster. It is more then a simple weepy because of its themes and how it shows impact of the Tsunami. The Impossible is an excellently acted movie and Bayona’s direction is high hitting, even if it's occasionally a little too heavy handed.


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