‘The Impossible’ – Review

January 13, 2013 2:16 pm

With festive rituals aside, the legion of palm trees sufficed. Boxing Day in Thailand offered idyllic re-quiescence for the Bennetts. But what starts as perfection quickly becomes unperfected, cataclysmic. A seemingly inoffensive breeze interlaced with sporadic laughter, shadows a queer murmur in the air – a murmur that becomes a ripple. And within seconds a colossal wall of black water rises, hope perishes and cinemagoers weep uncontrollably, here and throughout.

The Impossible Film

The Impossible vividly recreates the massacre that was the Indian Ocean Tsunami – replicating its megathrust currents and perilous blood baths through CGI. The imitation, however, appears to be in no way fictitious – that is, of course, if we disregard the slight switcheroo from the real-life Spanish Belon family, to the fairer than fair British Bennetts (sorry, we noticed).

Comic quips aside, the film has to be, without doubt, the most sombre and distressing film to grace our screens. It is impossible to envisage how the family will ever find their way back together. As Maria (Naomi Watts) and eldest son Lucas (Tom Holland) are repeatedly flung apart in the roiling river of debris, Henry (Ewan McGregor) and pint-sized sons Thomas and Simon (Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast) are nowhere to be seen. At times, familial heartbreak becomes all too real.

The Impossible is not intermittently sad, but continuously, meaning the popular description: ‘emotional rollercoaster’, isn’t befitting unless the rollercoaster goes up, and stays up, for its two-hour entirety. Although, through bleary eyes one stays affixed, as the film becomes as equally hard to turn away from as it is to watch. As families are shattered, parents savaged and children orphaned, Lucas is avid to save his fading mother. Thus, in a literary sense, the film is very much a Bildungsroman of a once snotty, rather spoilt, young boy who becomes a brave and selfless protagonist, attempting to reunite other families as well as his own. But to what avail?

The Impossible Naomi Watts

In one bloody scene Maria is dragged across branches and debris, with her leg half-open, wound-down. Gore galore. The screams would surely horrify a twelve year old, bringing the certificate rating up for debate. But, unlike many other disaster remakes, The Impossible does not desensitize; instead, it rebirths a sympathetic consciousness.

So, The Impossible is certainly a must-see, but potentially a mustn’t-see-again – not to undermine the undeniable brilliance and sagacity of the film, but for the sake of Kleenex extinction.

%d bloggers like this: