Jeri Jacquin, Movie Maven
Opening in theatres this holiday from director Juan Antonio Bayona and Summit Entertainment comes the true story of something that most think would be THE IMPOSSIBLE.
This film tells the story of the Henry (Ewan McGregor) and his wife Maria (Naomi Watts) and their three sons Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast) vacationing in Thailand in 2004.
Relaxing in the pool the family enjoys a beautiful day. Without warning the ground begins to shake and water rushes towards the family. Within moments their world is being swept away tearing the family apart.
FINAL WORD: I have to admit this film rocked me to the core. Yes, there are many films out there about the events that took place that fateful day but none moved me so much as this one.
McGregor gives a solid and heartfelt performance here. I can not even imagine the turmoil that it takes to separate family members in hopes of bringing everyone together again. McGregor shows a strong but painful side to his character. The moment where he makes the telephone call home is heartbreaking.
Watts portrays Maria as such a strong and courageous woman. In that courage there are tears and fears but the reality of being strong for those Maria loved. There is nothing pretty about Watts’ character and the agony she goes through. I felt pain in my own body just watching everything she goes through. That’s the sign of a stellar performance when it hurts to watch Watts’ portrayal of Maria.
Holland as Lucas is a tremendous talent. I don’t know that I could have been so brave to hazard the waters that this young man did. I not only speak of his time spent wet but the hazards of being strong for such a young man. Holland has the amazing capability of showing such strength of character.
The two younger brothers, played by Joslin and Pendergrast are equally as strong and tear at the heartstrings of the audience. The scene with the brothers together again is just so beautiful yet so painful to watch.
Other cast include: Sonke Mohring as Karl, Johan Sundberg as Daniel, Douglas Johansson as Mr. Benstrom, Marta Etura as Simone, Emilio Riccardi as Morten Bentrom, Simon Blyberg as Ferdinand, Christopher Alan Byrd as Dieter, and Ms. Geraldine Chaplin as a survivor.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE IMPOSSIBLE four and a half tubs of popcorn and let me tell you why. Of all the films made about the 2004 tsunami, this is the most heartbreaking I have seen. With the amazing beauty comes the ugly destruction and director Bayona doesn’t attempt to cover it with beautiful scenery.
Instead the viewers are shown the graphic truth behind a tragedy that took so many lives and destroyed so many families that survived. It is a jaw-dropping look of life, love, family and the will to survive.
There is such power here that the story pulls the viewer in with such deep emotions witnessing the connection of humanity. This film is so raw, emotional, intense and gut wrenching which is the beauty of it. There was no sugar coating anything about this experience and the film didn’t skimp on realism.
By the end of the film I was totally drained both physically and emotionally. This is a journey that doesn’t let up at any point in the film. The film is brilliantly cast and each actor takes us to a place we never want to go again. This is truly a film worth seeing this year as an unexpected winner in my book.
In the end – nothing is stronger than the human spirit.