IN CINEMAS NOW
RUNNING TIME: 104 mins
REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic
Henry, his wife Maria, and their three young sons Lucas, Thomas and Simon begin their Christmas vacation in Thailand, with the intention of spending a few days at a tropical paradise resort. However, their idyllic vacation is interrupted on the morning of December 26,2oo4, a day that shocked the whole world. A devastating tsumani destroys the coastal zone, killing many people and wrecking the lives of many others. The family survive the initial disaster but are separated and begin a desperate search to reunite…..
The last decade seemed to be a pretty bad one for natural disasters, and I’m not sure this one is going to be any better. The 2004 tsumani ranks As one of the worst ones, so it’s no wonder that The Impossible is the first film to deal with the event, unless you count Hereafter, which only used it as a plot device and concentrated on other matters. Juan Antonio Bayona’s film is, for the most part, as powerful, moving and frightening as it should be, right from the actual depiction of the disaster which is terrifying and interestingly wasn’t done with CGI. The film is almost agonising as its protagonists struggle to survive and find each other. There are images, such as an aerial shot of lots of body bags of varying sizes and a room full of children, one not much more than a baby, with badges on because they are all missing their parents, which are heartbreaking and show both the physical and emotional Effect of the disaster. Despite the 12A rating the film doesn’t really soft-peddle things. Amidst this, you will want so much for the family to find each other, but sadly their characters are one-dimensional, and there’s a curious racial insensitivity about replacing the Spanish family whose story this was based on by an American one and concentrating on white people throughout. One would almost get the impression that hardly any Thai people died at all. I detest political correctness but still felt uneasy about certain aspects of The Impossible. It’s still very worthwhile, may make you feel extremely emotional, and the performances by the leads, including some very impressive child actors, are excellent.