“The Impossible” is a true-life survival story that is, well, impossible to believe. It’s also a harrowing, compelling movie.
The film tells the story of Maria and Henry Belon (Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor), on Christmas vacation in Thailand with their three sons — Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast).
They’re enjoying their tropical paradise vacation until a tsunami hits without warning, destroying the resort and dividing the family. Maria and Lucas are washed away and eventually rescued by some locals who take them to a hospital. Maria is seriously injured and Lucas has to be strong for the two of them.
Meanwhile back at the remains of the resort, Henry leaves Thomas and Simon in the care of the authorities while he continues the seemingly hopeless search for his wife and son.
Based on a true story of the 2004 tsunami that struck southeast Asia, “The Impossible” is a powerful, amazing and emotionally draining film. The sequence of the tsunami wiping out the resort and Maria and Lucas struggling to survive is incredible. But if you’re just going for the thrill ride, that’s a small part of a much larger story.
The real focus is on the family’s courage and determination to survive and be reunited. To pull that off requires a talented cast and Watts and McGregor prove they have the talent required. But the real star is young Holland as the oldest — but still not very old — son. It’s a challenging part which he plays well.