A vacation is suppose to be a time for fun and relaxation. Leave your stress and worries at home and just forget about them for a brief moment. For the tourists in Thailand in December of 2004, they got a little more than they bargained for.
If that December isn’t ringing a bell for you, December 26, 2004 was the day of the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. With a magnitude of 9.0, the monstrous quake and tsunami had a death toll of 227,898 and made the top ten worst earthquakes ever recorded.
How is this relevant to a movie review? The movie The Impossible (also known as Lo Imposible) is based on the true events and follows the story of the Bennett family and their harrowing tale of survival after the tsunami in Thailand. Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry Bennett (Ewan McGregor) are on vacation with their three sons Lucas (Tom Holland) , Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast) in Thai resort in Khao Lok. The family is poolside enjoying a beautiful day when Maria loses a page of a notebook she keeps. She chases after it to a class window (at least that’s what it looks like) next to the pool when she notices it shaking. Before she can react, the tsunami hits and the family is separated.
After the wave hits, viewers can only sit and watch helplessly as people, cars, hotels and homes are washed away. Even though the scene you’re watching was made on a set, it’s hard to forget the videos that were all over the internet of people who were caught in the wave’s path filming it’s unforgiving wrath.
A glimmer of hope happens when Maria spots Lucas being swept away in the same direction as her. After a violent struggle with the strong currents, which leaves Maria’s leg badly injured, they finally find each other and hold on until they find dry land. It is here that the family really gets a grasp of what happened. Destruction everywhere, and they even find a missing child under a pile of what looks like scraps from a building. After the three get to safety in a tall tree, locals find them and try to assist them, but Maria is badly hurt and in desperate need of medical attention…
Meanwhile, its not looking any better for Henry and the other two boys. Henry searches tirelessly for his wife and son while Thomas and Simon stay with a group of survivors in what’s left of a hotel. When a van comes to take the survivors to higher ground and to safety, Henry stays behind in order to continue his search.
The Bennett family is completely separated from each other in a foreign country and unaware if the others are alive or not. The Impossible is a tense, heart wrenching and even empowering tale of destruction, natural disasters and survival. I held my anxiously breath almost half the movie because of the intensity of it. Will the Bennetts survive this horrifying event and reunite? If you’re looking for a film with some depth that will keep you on the edge of your seat (or in my case, anxiously holding your breath) this is the perfect movie for you.
Written by: Katie Sperduti