The Impossible

"Even if it's the last thing we do."

Based on a true story, The Impossible just might be the single most terrifying film I've ever watched. It's a harrowing and gut-wrenching film that immaculately recreates the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and yet still emerges as a thing of beauty and grace.

Impeccably directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, The Impossible is a true technical marvel in terms of filmmaking. The realism in which Bayona brings to life the merciless tsunami is simply jawdropping. The ten-minute disaster sequence itself is a visceral piece of cinema that's infinitely more traumatic and gripping than any run-of-the-mill disaster flicks. With astonishing attention to detail and superb sound design by Fernando Velázquez, it completely immerses you in one family's devastating ordeal. It's a remarkably spectacular visual achievement on every level.

I'll just go out and say it: Naomi Watts deserves an Oscar for her physically-commanding turn as the family's matriarch. Her turn is nothing short of extraordinary as she manages to imbue incredible fortitude and heartbreaking vulnerably into a role that could have easily gone overboard. Although Ewan McGregor doesn't have as much to do, he's still quite stellar in a role that requires him to be the level-headed father who makes rational decisions in the most unbelievable of circumstances. However, the real revelation is Tom Holland who is simply outstanding as the 12 year old Lucas. The character undergoes a brutal journey into adulthood over the course of the film as he struggles to survive and care for his wounded mother. Lucas and Maria's dynamic is the core of the story and it's brilliantly realized and appropriately touching. Their connection reminded me of my relationship with my own mother, so it was quite the emotionally satisfying experience for me as a viewer.

Although it's probably the most intense and uncomfortable film I've ever had to sit through, I truly can't recommend The Impossible enough. The movie perfectly embodies the power, resilience, and triumph of the human spirit. In addition, the manner in which it tackles themes of hope, small acts of kindness, and courage in the face of even the most impossible situations, is inspiring and immensely rewarding. As far as I'm concerned, it deserves all the praise it can get.

- With powerful performances and a strong emotional center, The Impossible is a breathtaking and heart-wrenching masterpiece. Undeniably, one of the best films I've ever seen.

5 out of 5 nightmarish holidays.

Previously posted on Nad's Reviews.


PlatinumRosebud said...

It's like Matt Damon's Hereafter.
Though this one deals with the family's lost and found struggles. :)

CrazyCris said...

So glad you felt that way Nadim! I saw the film back in October (if you're interested here was my take on it: "Movie Magic: The Impossible") and whenever I think about it the emotions come flooding back to the surface! Such an amazing film... and yeah, Lucas and Maria are the heart and soul of the film.
Did you know that it's based on the true story of a Spanish family who lived through that nightmare? And although filmed in English it's a 100% Spanish film! ;o)

Nadim said...

Hey Cris,
Yes I know it's a Spanish film and I read that it was about a true Spanish family. How utterly horrifying that they actually lived through this!
I'll be sure to read your review now and comment. I never noticed you had a blog before too :)

CrazyCris said...

lol! Nadim I've got 3 blogs!!! I'm kind of ADD that way...

I read an interview with the family and it was kind of scary for them reliving all that. If I remember correctly their photos are shown during the credit sequence after the movie...

Lebanon? You're definitely the closest "Douxeur" to me after Juliette! Lebanon is high on my "places I want to visit" list, has been for years... sadly it seems a bit risky lately. :o( Hopefully by the time my finances let me organise a trip to the Middle East things will have calmed down a bit...