Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
'The Impossible' is just that Teen Scene
Movie Review BY ERIKA GLASS, 18, Freestyle Staff Writer
In beginning my rave about Juan Antonio Bayona's extraordinary film "The Impossible," I could praise the brilliant and masterful acting of Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, or I could applaud the breathtaking cinematography and special effects. But perhaps the most crucial point are these two words: true story. Hollywood skill aside, this story is a genuine experience and "The Impossible" is a film you will not easily forget.
The movie introduces us to the Bennett family -- father Henry (McGregor), mother Maria (Watts) and three mischievous and fun-loving sons: Lucas (Tom Holland), Simon (Oaklee Pendergast) and young Thomas (Samuel Joslin). Focusing on the horrific experience with the 2004 tsunami, the film makes the story personal, capturing the family's terror, distress and, ultimately, the sense of unwavering hope and fierce perseverance.
The deadly wave separates the family, with Maria and Lucas together and Henry with the other two boys, and even in the heartbreaking circumstances, they never give up searching for their loved ones, even when it seems, well, impossible.
As they enjoy the family's getaway to Khao Lak, Thailand, the audience is held in suspense. When the first grumble of the waves outside the Bennetts' beach resort reaches earshot, and the family looks toward the growling ocean with unknowing curiosity. It is almost painful that you cannot yell at them to run for their lives.
Bayona's portrayal of the tsunami, as well as the immediate aftermath, displays striking images not soon to be forgotten. From children shrieking in submerging vehicles and swirling water with broken glass to harmful follow-up waves and gigantic trees toppling into the water, each shot evokes emotion and is more than enough to make you cringe.
Watts and McGregor both give tear-jerking performances, with scenes that genuinely break your heart. I am not exaggerating when I say that I do not think there was a dry eye in the theater. Tom Holland is also especially remarkable, as we watch the carefree 12-year-old grow and mature before our eyes.
"The Impossible" is as meaningful and sincere as the big screen can get, and undoubtedly leaves the audience members changed. I would not only bet, but would guarantee, that you will leave the theater wanting to gather the ones you love into your arms and let them know that you would never stop searching for them in a situation like that.
After a film like this, the statistics of a horrific disaster such as the 2004 tsunami will be more than just numbers, they are now people who represent these numbers.
"The Impossible" captures a remarkable true story that everybody should experience, and leaves the viewer with a sense of thankfulness that reaches far beyond the screen.