So I was thinking about what to post… I have watched a few movies this month – Wreck-it-Ralph, Jack Reacher and a few others but I think the movie that stuck with me (both in heart and mind) has to be The Impossible. This is based on a true story of a Spanish family’s survival during the 2004 tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 14 countries. I found it powerful and moving, and think it was brilliantly done. J.A.Bayona’s The Orphanage was amazing, and he has directed another great film in this one. I would love to see what he comes up with next.
Bayona said one of the things the survivors of the tsunami remember was hearing the roar of the water before they actually saw the wave. That’s why at the start of the film, the sound of the water can be heard before the screen actually shows anything.
This film wouldn’t have worked without the incredible cast. Naomi Watts did an incredible job, especially since the water scenes were filmed for real. She deserves her Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. Ewan McGregor was also good (especially in a bus station scene) but the standout performance has to be Tom Holland, who plays the eldest son. Why he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, I do not know. Awards have been given to performances much worse than his… Tom Holland was seriously brilliant in this film.
The two younger boys deserve a quick mention as well – Samuel Joslin who plays the middle child Thomas, and Oaklee Pendergast who plays the young Simon. Samuel seemed very mature in a brief scene with Geraldine Chaplin (the daughter of Charlie Chaplin – she was also in The Orphanage… see the connection here?) where the two of them sat and talked about stars. For some reason, I found that scene heartwarming… perhaps I’m just a softie.
Another aspect of this film that I like is the original score by Fernando Velazquez. The music is often sad but beautiful at the same time. I’m surprised the song by Damien Rice (a cover of One) isn’t included in the soundtrack, though.
And what about the real family the movie is based on, the ones that survived the tsunami? According to the mom Maria Belon, Lucas is now 18 years old and training to be a doctor, and she described him as being “immensely brave.” She said that what he took from the experience of the tsunami is that “there is never enough of what you can do for others.” Thomas, now 16, is at a school that studies half the time and does community service the other half of the time, and he is also working as a lifeguard in Wales. As for Samuel, 13, she said he is wondering whether being a firefighter or a policeman would be the best way to help people. Overall, they have all come out of this experience wanting to help others. What an amazing family. It is so inspiring to see what they have gone through and read about their current situation today. I wonder if they will one day write a book about their experiences, and include an update on their present situation. I’d buy it!
A powerful film, highly recommended if you haven’t seen it.