Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Impossible: But True

On Dec. 26, 2004, the largest tsunami to ever hit the coast of Thailand swept across a resort shore bringing with it unimaginable carnage and death.

The Impossible is the story of how one family, vacationing by the sea, managed to survive.

It's a difficult film to watch, filled with real life horror. Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona drags moviegoers into the murky, gritty waters. And he takes you under, too. You're not merely watching Maria (Naomi Watts) as she's swept beneath the churning sea, you're there with her, debris as large as tree trunks careening toward you.

One strength of this film is its ability to realistically recreate this horrifying event. But what is even more compelling is its emotional truth. Whether Watts is on screen, or her husband, played by Ewan McGregor, or one of their three sons, or any number of people they meet on their journey to find each other and restore their health, there's not a false note on screen. 

Despite this cinema verite, at its core The Impossible is a movie about the tenacity of family ties, the unstoppable struggle for survival, the resilience of the human spirit and, yes, the power of love. 

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