This is without question the most moving piece of film I’ve seen this year. And that’s saying something. I’ve been brought to tears and emotionally battered by probably a handful of films over the last twelve months but this pact the biggest emotional punch. It had a huge impact on me and I am honestly drained, cheeks tear-stained and melancholy after the experience. It’s incredibly powerful; more so because it centres on one family’s real-life struggle to find each other after being torn apart during the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami which claimed over 230,000 lives. But while their story is one of unbelievable horror, devastation, and despair it’s also one of hope and immeasurable relief and happiness. After all, their story is one of those rare real-life miracles.
It’s a delicate subject to take on, exploring such a catastrophic natural disaster after such a short time, especially with a surviving family on board. It’s not something to be glamorised or softened or typically Hollywoodised. But then you have to make something people want to see. Spanish Director Juan Antonio Bayona (Director of The Orphanage) handles The Impossible with a perfect balance of sensitivity, honesty, and dramatisation creating a visually breath-taking, emotionally resonant, character driven piece. Naomi Watts (Maria) and Ewan McGregor (Henry) are sensational as are Thomas Holland (Lucas), Samuel Joslin (Thomas), and Oaklee Pendergast (Simon) who together make up the picture perfect family. The children are incredible taking on a challenge for even the greatest and most experienced actors; and they give truly heart-warming very touching Performances. I just wanted to hug ‘em all.
It’s rated 12 but there’s no way I’d take someone so young to see it. The Impossible is at times quite graphic and shocking even for an adult and even the subject isn’t something a child should really be exposed to as a family day at the cinema. There are a few very unpleasant moments that really turned my stomach and are still at the fore front of my mind. It’s less entertainment that It is food for thought, and it wont be forgotten any time soon. It’s something to watch with an open mind, and a huge box of tissues. Or maybe just sit there with shades on.
It’s worth every penny of the ticket price but I don’t think I’ll run out and buy the DVD. Putting myself through that emotional battering is OK but I’m unlikely to be in the mood to go through it that often.