This is not another disaster movie. The Impossible chronicles a close-knit family that viewers come to care about from the first moments. The pacing is excellent, the viewer feels that they get to know the family very well before tragedy strikes. This is only one of the bonuses with this movie. A review follows.
I love the raw believability that this movie depicts. There’s not too much gore, but it isn’t pristine clean either. After all, a tsunami hits; spilling murky and turbulent waters upon the village. One triage scene shows a likely truth found in patients with contaminated lungs, but it is not horribly unpleasant.
What I like is how the gross scenes are short. You see it, and then the camera cuts to another scene.
An Intact, Loving Family
Our interest continues to build while we watch. I love the considerate spousal interactions and the endearing family moments they all share. Three adorable boys play the role of very polite children. When disaster strikes, they each demonstrate care and concern for each others’ safety, even as they brace for the impact.
It’s hard to forget what well-mannered children these are, for it crops up again later in the movie. I won’t say more, for I don’t wish to spoil your viewing experience.
There is one scene where they family participates in a Chinese Lantern releasing ceremony with many others. The twilight scenes of the ascending lanterns are captivating, and almost seemed to be slowed down for maximum enjoyment.
One scene which was definitely slowed down was the wife/mother’s revisualization of her traumatic experience in the water and how she moved toward the light and then emerged hand-first into the open air. This was spellbinding.
The sound effects sound natural rather than staged. There is one scene where the rushing water sounds so incredibly real. There are sucking noises, gurgling sounds and the thunderous sound of massive mountain sized walls of water.
One man describes how the noise woke him up.Through clever production techniques of some kind, they created such a memorable tumult when that wall of water hit. It wasn’t the roar of a tornado, which is said to sound like a freight train. But it isn’t significantly different from that. Through scripting of dialogue, they gave this man the exact right words to convey his sensory experience.
The family’s love sees them through, and serves to benefit others. These people not only make it through trying times, they refuse to give up on one another. The hope that every member will be found is probably the most impossible of hopes. It is not just another disaster movie. It is a family story, a loving family story. I found out that it was based upon real happenings in the life of a family who were visiting Thailand when the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami hit. It’s good they made it to tell us about it, because they seem to have a lot to offer the world.