Movie Title: The Impossible
Date Released: January 4th, 2013
Date Seen: June 26th, 2013
Seen with: Marcela
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
This movie follows a family, consisting of Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor), and their children Lucas, Thomas, and Simon, on their vacation to Thailand over Christmas 2004. A tsunami hits, and we witness the family getting separated, and having to deal with injuries, secondary waves, and finding each other again.
I was super disappointed in this movie. Yes, it’s a sad emotional story. But it’s disappointing because of the blatant disregard it has for the actual Thai population. We follow a bunch of white people – and how they dealt with the tsunami. It was obnoxious. It was so ridiculous at times, that I started texting my sister at every little thing that annoyed me on that front. If you’re curious what all I mean by this, look in the second part of the review. I’ll just tell you one up here. One of the family members makes it to a hospital – and is going around looking at everyone in the hospital. About 1/20 or so people we see is Thai. The others, all white. Granted, they’re a nice mix of Swedish, German, American, British, etc. But they’re all white. I feel like in the country of Thailand, there should be more Thais. Granted, they were in a kind of resort area – but still, what about all the workers? Anyway, this was so frustrating that the movie lost MAJOR points with me. Major. Especially when you see the real family in the end – they’re Spanish, not the blond haired/blue eyed family we got. Ugh. It’s kind of like if another country, say, South Korea for example, made a movie about a Korean family in New York City on September 11th, 2001 – and then NEVER showed any of the USA citizens. Or, if Chile made a movie about the July 7th, 2005 London underground bombings, about a Chilean family there, with NO English people in the movie. See how it’s a little obnoxious?
The acting, however, was pretty great. Naomi Watts did awesome, despite half of her performance being from a hospital bed. The scene where she is hit by the tsunami and then searching for her son Lucas was very hard to watch. You see her hitting things in the water, getting beat up by debris, etc. Then the camera is very good at keeping right at her level – so what she can theoretically see is all you can see. You hear her son, Lucas, calling for her, but because of the waves and debris it is hard to find him. I really liked that.
You could tell the things they changed from the real story to make them more dramatic – which did make it a better “movie” – but I would have rather just had more time spent on the overall destruction of the country, or what it meant for the people of Thailand, etc. That would have been equally as sad/moving and would have made it a better movie.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
There’s an OK synopsis here.
The whole beginning of the movie, we only see one possibly Thai person working at the hotel. The majority however, no. After the tsunami hits – surprisingly we don’t see many bodies, or ANY other people floating around, yelling. Maria just perfectly manages to only find her son. Later, the very next person they hear, is also a white kid. A little boy named Daniel, blond, and white. Of course. Finally we get to see some Thai’s. They rescue white woman from the tree… and take her to a hospital. Not that they have problems of their own – but whatever. And as I mentioned above, at the hospital, about 1/20 people are Thai. The rest, are not. Le sigh. We do get lucky and see Thai doctors however.
The movie then switches gears to white daddy searching for wife and son, and in doing so, he leaves his two kids that he knows are safe with other (white) people. If I had found at least two of my kids, after a tragic event like that, especially given their ages, I would NEVER leave them – no matter how good the other people were. Apparently the dad actually did that in real life. But we never see any Thai’s. In his whole journey. It’s crazy.
And you know, I probably would have given this movie a 7/10 until the end, when it showed you the real family – and they’re from Spain. Dark hair, dark features, etc. They made the family look as American/British as possible so that our audiences would connect better with it – but what I don’t understand is that A SPANISH MOVIE COMPANY MADE THIS FILM!!!! UGH. Seriously. Lost points again.
The acting is pretty good, there are some tearful moments, but it’s just a disappointing movie in the lack of acknowledgment of what happened to the actual country and the people.