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The Impossible (Juan Antonio Bayona, 2012)

January 12, 2013

The-Impossible-Naomi-Watts

Based around the Boxing Day tsunami that struck South East Asia in 2004, The Impossible documents the true story of how one family of five was separated during the chaos, and their unlikely survival despite horrific injuries, presuming the other party may have perished, and being swept miles apart from each other. Juan Antonio Bayona’s Spain-funded film changes the Spanish tourist family of the real events to a British one, with Naomi Watts’ mother, bearing horrific wounds, managing to hold onto her eldest son (Tom Holland) and barely surviving the onslaught of water. Husband Ewan McGregor, meanwhile, battered and with a scratched eye, manages to secure his other two, very young sons near their resort, before setting off to find the remainder of his family.

Based on accounts, the film, nationalities aside, would seem to be an accurate portrayal of this particular family’s experience, though the youngest boys’ isolated conversation with a cameo-ing Geraldine Chaplin, about how some stars burn out before their light reaches us, is one of various mawkish touches amidst the instances of visceral filmmaking. Other such aspects include an overly sentimental score, very cloying in its refusal to not play over almost every scene, and some of the poor dialogue given to young Tom Holland, who tries but often cannot make his declarative dialogue sound at all natural for a teenager…

Full review at Sound on Sight

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