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The Impossible (2012)

Review of The Impossible, tsunami

There are some events which you will never forget. Whether it’s the death of a celebrity (like Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston) or big events. 9/11 immediately springs to mind, but the tsunami on December 26, 2004 is another big one. Almost 230,000 died as a result, a number you can’t imagine. This movie tells the story of one family during this horrible event. It is based on the story of a real Spanish family.

review of the movie The Impossible

The family in this movie is an English one. Henry (Ewan McGregor), Maria (Naomi Watts) and their three sons have planned to celebrate the holidays in Thailand, in a newly opened resort. A beautiful place and their first day is stunning, they celebrate Christmas and feel like they are in heaven. The paradise changes into hell when the tsunami hits on the 26th. The event has been translated to the big screen very convincingly and really makes you wonder how it was filmed. While it is taking place you can see and hear the brute force of the water, tossing people around like little leaves. With the water full of debris it’s not all about staying above the water, but also being lucky and not hitting anything. The family loses track of each other and as a viewer you join Maria with her son, trying to survive and eventually hoping to find the rest of their loved ones.

This is a heart wrenching movie and as a father I felt the desperation of Maria felt. I had a hard time not tearing up during some moments and when a movie is able to do that you know it is a good one. The movie looks stunning and you would swear it all was shot on the same day the event happened. It looks devastated, thanks to amazing effects and practical sets. The cast is great (including the kids) and this movie truly is an emotional rollercoaster. The last half hour might be a bit too manipulative for some, but personally I thought it was a very moving film and one you shouldn’t miss.

Category: Drama, Historic, Movies
  • Mark Walker says:

    I enjoyed this one too Nostra. As a parent, it does capture the desperation very well. I’ve not got around to my review yet but you give a good write-up here that I can’t argue with at all.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:40 am
    • Nostra says:

      Happy to hear that. It managed to capture those emotions so extremely well. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on it Mark!

      January 23, 2013 at 9:56 am
  • Mark says:

    One of the saddest movies I have ever seen. A very succinct, nicely written review.

    January 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Mark!

      January 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm
  • wordschat says:

    A good film and nice acting especially by the actor playing Lucas. Heartfelt review Nostra.

    January 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks a lot. They really played the right actor for Lucas, with a less talented kid the movie could have fallen apart.

      January 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm
  • Chris says:

    Nice write up Nostra. This was a big surprise for me. I wasn’t expecting huge amounts from it but it really delivered. The production values were fantastic and both Naomi Watts and Tom Holland were brilliant. Like you suggested, I did find it slightly over-manipulative at times, but it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the film.

    January 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I’m already pretty sure it will end up in my end of year list, so that’s a good start of 2013 :)

      January 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm
  • ruth says:

    WOW, a 10! I definitely will give this a rent, but make sure I have a couple of tissue boxes handy. My home country was one of the hardest hit by this tsunami, so it’ll be very emotional for me.

    January 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, I think those tissue boxes are a must. A very moving film.

      January 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm
  • sleeplessdave says:

    I thought this was an astonishing film. The sheer scope of what they covered and how viscerally you were thrown into the experience were absolute feats. I’m glad Naomi Watts got a deserved Oscar nod, but how is that the only one this film gets? Juan Antonio Boya has made two films: this and The Orphanage, and he’s launched himself into my top tier of directors.

    January 26, 2013 at 8:02 pm
    • Nostra says:

      It should have received one for best effects. Haven’t checked how it was done but I was impressed.

      January 28, 2013 at 8:47 am
  • moviejoltz says:

    I was exhausted after watching this incredible movie. Naomi Watts was amazing.

    January 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I can understand that, I was also exhausted. Still one I want to give a rewatch though.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm
  • Keith says:

    A big 10? That’s high praise. But you’ll find no gripes from me. I love this film. It made a good showing on my top 10 films of 2012 list and I still am thinking about that picture well after I’ve seen it. With the exception of one scene, everything feels real and genuine. The performances are fantastic and even though I was emotionally exhausted at the end I was deeply deeply moved.

    January 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yes and I don’t give out tens often! It was released this year over here, else it would have been in my 2012 list (it will be in the list this year unless there are even more amazing movies on its way). It does move you. Which scene didn’t you like? Is it one where they just miss each other?

      January 31, 2013 at 8:29 am
  • Paul83NL says:

    Nice review! I’ve seen it yesterday and i think this is a great and moving movie with a lot of respect for the talented Tom Holland. But i didn’t cry though and that surprises me a little bit.

    February 4, 2013 at 7:27 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Paul and good to see you also agree. Even though you didn’t cry, it did move you, so it did something right! :)

      February 6, 2013 at 9:52 am

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