Director: J A Bayona
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and Tom Holland
b! Says: ***½
Superb acting keeps ‘The Impossible’ afloat
Sergio Sanchez’s ‘The Impossible’ is not without flaws, but superb performances by Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and Tom Holland keep this movie afloat. Served docu-drama style, the incredible story of one family’s will to live is entertaining enough, but be warned of a soggy middle.
Based on the true story of a Spanish family that were holidaying in Thailand when the 2004 tsunami struck, English couple Henry (McGregor), Maria (Watts) and their three boys Lucas (Holland), Thomas and Simon are torn apart when deadly waves destroy their resort. Maria loses a large chunk of her leg, but finds support in Lucas who is forced to grow up in a few hours. Elsewhere, Henry’s managed to save Thomas and Simon, but continues to look for Maria and Lucas even though he’s constantly discouraged by other survivors.
While Watts and McGregor both impress with heartfelt performances (though Watts clearly wins this round), the real star of the story is Holland . As a teenager forced to grow up in a matter of hours, his scenes with Watts (and especially at the climax) are standout stuff. The tsunami scenes and a flashback sequence are gorgeous – shot to shock and awe and succeeding on both fronts. ‘The Impossible’ is let down slightly by two things – slow middle-overs and its supporting cast. Henry’s companion on his search and the helpful nurse at Maria’s hospital are as expressive as deadwood and Henry’s story begins at a sluggish pace. Fortunately, the movie picks up, leading to a climax that is bound to leave not a dry eye in the house.
A touching testament to the spirit of survival, ‘The Impossible’ is worth your time and money. Watch it.