At the outset, let me warn you that The Impossible is not for Indians.
The Naomi Watts-Ewan McGregor film Impossible is so well made that surely it’ll put off desi movie buffs hostile to anything with the slightest whiff of class.
Good directors discover high drama in everyday occurrences, like happenings within a family or town, and sometimes in rare events such as the 2004 tsunami that wrought widespread devastation in Asia.
Capable directors don’t engage in the gimmickry of a metallic suited Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man 1, 2 and soon 3) or peddle the meretricious allure of a fancy set-design to mask the absence of a great story (The Great Gatsby is a mediocre work except to those who haven’t read it and rely on the hearsay of a few idiots who pretend to have).
In Impossible, director Juan Antonio Bayona works remarkable drama out of the real-life story of María Belón Alvárez and her family who survived the tsunami in Thailand while vacationing there.
In the course of its translation into the English movie, the Spanish family turns into the British family Maria and Henry Bennet and their children Lucas, Thomas and Simon holidaying in Khao Lak, Thailand.
To describe Impossible as essentially a tsunami film would be inaccurate.
In my view, the movie is more of the immediate post-tsunami survival trauma of an European family vacationing in Thailand.
The gushing waters and struggle for life of Maria and Lucas in the torrent take but a few minutes. Yes, they’re crucial moments, they’re well done and they set the stage for the rest of the film.
But what it quickly recedes into, the post-tsunami separation of the family members and their final reunion, is equally important to the drama.
The struggle of Maria (Naomi Watts) and her older son Lucas (Tom Holland) in the rushing waters are extremely well done as are the hospital scenes later.
The acting is solid and the set creation excellent.
The highest compliment I can give Impossible is that it possesses the verisimilitude of a good documentary.
I’ve seen Naomi Watts in Eastern Promises but can’t remember her character in the film now.
Naomi is a a talented actress and throws in a powerful performance in Impossible, work that earned her an Oscar nomination at the last Academy Awards.
The actress’ compelling performance leaves me hungry for more movies featuring her.
Tom Holland, who plays the older son Lucas, is easily the best male young actor I’ve seen in eons.
The 16-year-old British actor has strong command of his character, rare in someone so young.
I’d recommend that South Indian stars like Ajith, Allu Arjun et al train under Tom Holland.
Impossible makes for a compelling watch.
It’s a shame that the movie never made it to a really wide release in the U.S., debuting only in few theatres in late 2012/early 2013 (yes, Impossible’s 886 theatres is still limited release when you consider Oblivion debuted in 3,792 theatres).
Impossible has just come out on DVD and streaming. It’s available on DVD at Netflix and RedBox and on streaming at M-Go (just 99-cents under the 30-day promotion).
SearchIndia.com heartily recommends The Impossible to all those sensible desis who loath Indian movies.