The film tells the true story of Henry, (Ewan McGregor), Maria (Naomi Watts) and their three young boys as they spend their Christmas holiday in Thailand. They were hoping to relax and have a carefree vacation as a family, but what they got instead was a nightmare. On the morning of December 26, 2004 a monstrous and devastating tsunami stampedes over the family. Now this family must struggle to survive as they try to reunite with each other.
What Worked - The Impossible is extremely powerful and incredibly moving. With this being only the second feature-length film Juan Antonio Bayonaever has directed, I would say we should all keep our eyes peeled for this talented director. The film is also filled with beautiful and yet devastating images. The Impossible really seemed to capture what a tsunami is like, and in many respects I feel like I was educated as to how horrific they are. As most of you may know from my previous reviews, I have never been a fan of nudity in movies. I just feel that most of the time it's not necessary, but this may be one of the rare times I felt it actually enhanced the story. The nudity is brief but effective. It's at a moment where Maria's character is at the weakest and she doesn't even realize her breast is exposed. Her son sees and immediately turns around and says "I can't see you like this." It makes you empathize with both characters even more during this horrifying tragedy. Naomi Watts's performance is truly astounding. It truly looks she was beaten to an inch of her life. I am just thrilled that she received an Oscar nomination for this performance. Ewan McGregor's role is smaller but he does a superb job. There's an incredibly powerful moment where he completely breaks down as he's calls family back home and tries to tell them what's going on. It's one of those moments, where you'll most likely choke up or in my case burst into tears. Here's the clip if you're interested.
What Didn't Work - The music feels very heavy-handed. Meaning it tells you exactly how you should feel throughout each scene. Honestly, I didn't need to be directed how to feel in a movie like this. Some gentler music would've been more beneficial to the story. Also this isn't necessarily a negative, its more of a warning for some of you. The movie is brutal and is not easy to watch, particularly the scenes that take place underneath the water. The characters are being impaled and thrashed about like rag dolls causing this reviewer to wince quite a bit.
Emotional - While watching The Impossible I became a blubbering mess. The film was so profoundly moving I literally cried through half of it. I was making such a mess, I had to go find tissues. This is the type of movie that I would strongly encourage my friends to watch. But in the fear of embarrassing myself, I wouldn't want to watch it with them.
Overall - The Impossible is a profoundly moving tale of a family's struggle to survive. The film is well shot, well executed, and it's full of knockout performances. The Impossible will definitely make my top 10 list of 2012. I strongly urge all of you to see it. It may be a tragic story, but it's full of beautiful moments with an uplifting tale of a family.
A quote from the movie -
Lucas - I'm always a brave kid, mom, but I'm scared.
Maria - I'm scared too.
So what do you think?