On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

The Impossible

Lo imposible (original title)

2012/ Spain

Director: Juan Antonio Bayona

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Ploy Jindachote

We all love a true story don’t we? A disaster movie? A hero to save the day? Well The Impossible is just that, only it is the remarkable true story of Maria Belon, who along with her beloved family endured the ordeal of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.

The Impossible is a film that tells the phenomenal story of a regular family, Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three children Lucas, Thomas and Simon. They visit Thailand for a Christmas holiday in a villa on the seafront. As they, like many of us do, enjoy the sunshine around the pool, until this perfect paradise becomes their worst nightmare. There is a huge roar as their surroundings begin to shake and they are swept off their feet into the arms of a tsunami. The family are divided and left to fend for themselves as they struggle to find one another.

McGregor gives a fantastic performance as Henry as in a very powerful scene he manages to make a phone call back home to tell of the disaster that has struck. It is difficult to imagine the trauma that many people had to face and you fill with compassion as you watch. Facing the reality that this is a true story and many lives were lost and were impacted by the events of that day is very thought provoking. I have to say that the real star of the film is Tom Holland who plays Lucas, the saviour of the day as he not only withstands the ordeal but demonstrates his braveness as he saves his mum and makes you swim with empathy as he becomes a hero.

The Impossible conveys the fragile emotional impact, rather than the large scale physical impact it has, however there are several inconsistencies as you reflect over the film. The focus appears to be very much on Maria, which yes is essential as the story is written by her yet as a film it fails to portray the battle Henry had to overcome. There is also confusion regarding the unnecessary nudity of Maria as there is little relevance with this to the film and appears to be inconsistent with the emotional rollercoaster this is set out to be. Despite the poorly acted nurse (Ploy Jindachote), unnecessary nudity and the lack of showing us how Henry saved his children, the film still manages to sweep you up in the emotional turmoil and is definitely recommended.


-Becca Darbyshire


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