From J.A Bayona, director of the excellent ‘The Orphanage’ comes a very Anglo-Saxon viewpoint of the 2004 Tsunami of ‘THE IMPOSSIBLE’. First things first, the acting is excellent. Naomi Watts is terrific, and deserving of her Oscar Nod, and Ewan McGregor is also terrific, if yet under looked – he brings a kind of emotional energy to the film and shows you that he is one of the most underappreciated actors out there (he’s had no Oscar nods for Christ sake!).
Regarding the film itself, it arguably a Horror film, like Bayona’s ‘The Orphanage’. After the wave hits the sense of threat is incredible. This is seen in the injury detail, the emotional trauma, people walking around naked, let alone the wave hitting itself. The thing with ‘The Impossible’ is when the wave hits, it isn’t some over the top Hollywood wave (i.e.: ‘Perfect Storm’, ‘Titanic’). What happens is more realistic as there no unbelievable feats by the characters to survive, nor any need make it bigger for trailer money shots.
This films does has (and some might seen it being me ‘ninnypicking’ here) some downfalls. The film does feel a little too wrapped up at the end (however perhaps the point of that could be that it was sheer luck how people have survived this event – it is called ‘The Impossible’ after all), and the whole ‘The Impossible’ title card at the end feels a little unneeded, taking away from its unnerving tone (most of which brought beautifully by the sound mixing) from the film, to which could be used to campaign to the Academy voters to perhaps pay attention in putting this in the ‘Best Picture’ category at this year’s Oscar’s, which almost makes the filmmakers feel like they are not confident enough with the film, without it having to say it’s called ‘The Impossible’ again.
Apart from that I really loved this film, the tone, the acting (the lead child is excellent), the practitioner work is at a high degree, and while some might scream YEAH BUT THE TRAILER TELLS YOU EVERYTHING, it doesn’t – it under sells it. Yes it might be Anglo-Saxon take, people might not like this and I can certainly relate to the fact the main characters are very middleclass and it doesn’t dwell aggressively of the people of Thailand. Personally this is certainly worthy of your attention!