Friday, January 11, 2013
If you've ever had a hankering to find out what it's like to be swept up in a tsunami—without, you know, the life-threatening peril—look no further than The Impossible.
Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona's intense drama is based on a true story of survival in the wake of the ferocious Asian Pacific tsunami of December, 2004; it plunges the viewer smack in the middle of utter chaos when a rogue wall of water rises up and devastates everything in its path for miles around in a matter of minutes.
Bayona made the stylish and brilliantly creepy Gothic thriller The Orphanage (El Orfanato) a few years back, and he knows a little something about building and sustaining suspense.
But while that film was all about the dread of the unknown, this one is fueled entirely on the adrenalin rush of coping with the unthinkable. There's no time to dread anything here; the suddenness of the tsunami as it pounds a completely unprepared human world is its most terrifying aspect.
Bayona, working again with Orphanage scriptwriter Sergio G. Sanchez, takes as his inspiration the true story of the Belón family, a Spanish couple and their three young sons who were vacationing on the coast of Thailand when the tsunami struck. In the film, the family is British.
Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts (in an incredibly physically demanding performance) star as Henry and Maria; he's a young entrepreneur and she's a trained medical doctor who's given up her practice to raise their family.
Adolescent son Lucas (Tom Holland) is their eldest. Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and little Simon (Oaklee Pendergast) are his younger brothers. (Read more)