The Impossible – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

impossibleThe Impossible – 4/5 – Every now and then, when I watch movies, I have to remember that there are some things beyond entertainment.  In saying that, that is one thing that I felt especially for this current film that I will be reviewing.  This is a film that came out last year, and dealt with one of the most tragic things to happen in our lifetime, the Tsunami in South East Asia.  Through it all, even for common movie clichés, the heart of this film shines above it all.  With decent acting, and some steady pacing, The Impossible is a film that will touch you, at your core.

Premise: A regular family decides to vacation in Thailand for Christmas. A perfect paradise vacation they hope to have, but that all changes when a distant noise turns into something terrible. There is no time to escape; as the family is separated.  Through it all, the family wonders if they can survive and reunite with each other again.

The focus of this film is stationed around on one specific family.  This family is as followed:

Naomi Watts as Maria (Mother)

Ewan McGregor as Henry (Father)

Tom Holland as Lucas (eldest son)

Samuel Joslin as Thomas (middle son)

Oaklee Pendergast as Simon (Youngest son)

In the main roles of the mother and father, Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor do a fantastic job in creating believability during this dire situation.  After the Tsunami hits, you watch as (both) their instincts of parenting and survival kick in, as they do everything to help stay alive and provide a ‘moral’ figure for their sons.  In their separation throughout the film, you also watch as (with a lack of dialogue) they give emotional despair through mannerisms, situational reactions to the events and interactions with locale and other people caught in the tragedy.  You see the layers of instinct, feelings and bareness that can be caused by an event like this, as they give you a humanly side that shows the core value of life.  With these layers on full display through these main characters, when certain moments happen to these two, you will feel as if it happened to you.  The sons do a good job in providing ‘frantic’ and ‘innocence’, but most of their acting is commonplace for this ‘tragic’ style film.  The one son that stands out of the three is Tom Holland as Lucas.  In this young actor, you see a maturation process he goes through in this film.  Through his interaction with his mother and other’s in the film, he learns when to be strong, when to show compassion and how these things can help his will to keep fighting on.  You see promising skill in this young actor, as he shows ‘realism’ in the ideas of growth.  Outside of the family, everyone else is the basic ‘tragic’ supporting characters.  Through these other characters, they help emphasize the emotional value of the film instead of providing real depth as characters.

The direction of the film takes a simple linear approach, which infusing parts of the ‘true events’ into a dramatized disaster piece.  In keeping it simple, some of the generalities of these kinds of movies are evident, but never really drag the film’s steady pacing.  In the beginning, we are given a basic setup of the family.  We follow as they leave their home and head off to Thailand, for a family vacation.  There isn’t any explanation as to why they vacation, but that isn’t of much importance.  Once the family is in the proper position, we are then witnessed to the Tsunami attack and the after affects.  When the event happens, you watch in horror as the resort is attacked and the devastation occurs.  While the set pieces are vile and sometimes hard to imagine, the director does a fine job in leaving the ‘situation’ to dictate itself.  In doing this, you are left to the simplicity of the reality, allowing you to become even more attached to the experience as you watch the family try to find any reason to survive.  Once the storm passes, the rest of the film focuses on the core elements of humanity through each of the family members.  As the family moves forward and tries to find each other (as they got separated), you witness their struggle, and watch as their humanity is striped to the basic elements of life’s core.  Through some cliché actions by the characters and some common ‘hope style’ scenarios, you are provided a layer that is both redundant but real.  You have this ironic feeling that you’re dulled by some situations, but also are still heartfelt by what is happening.  Watching this film, you will start to realize that there is a deeper understanding beyond the simple narration; that meaning lies within its themes.  No matter when the film focused one person, or the whole family, you realize the themes of family, perseverance and the fragility of life.  In this, the emotional barriers will come down, and all the elements that seem to drag most films down (convenient plot device, dramatization and predictability) don’t matter.  By the end of this film, the emotional toll is daunting, but you appreciate what kind of film you just watched.

The visuals of the film are beyond outstanding.  From the creation of the Tsunami, to the event and the collateral damage, you are touched by both the vile and riveting moments, and caught up by many different spectrums of the allure.  With the use of sweeping camera angles and ‘realism’ effects, you feel the emotion through the calamity, and believe it to be more than just a movie (even though it did actually happen).  The score of the film comes across very subtly, but the slow pacing of the music helps add to the emotions you feel, and pull you to react to poignant moments.

Overall, The Impossible is a film that has common elements of a ‘disaster’ film, but the emotional aspects of the family and the humanizing effects of the themes help pull this film above the average score.  This is a hard film to watch, but one that everyone should.  All critiques aside, you will be moved by this powerful film.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *