The Impossible

16 Jan

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Synopsis: “An account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time.” (Rated PG-13; 1 hour 47 minutes)

This movie is nuts. And mostly in the best of ways…

Had this movie been fictional, I would have thoroughly enjoyed it, but would have definitely felt quite different throughout, and I would have found the overall premise to be as absurd as a Michael Bay disaster movie.

The tsunami hits Thailand – we all know this really happened in 2004. But the events that this one family went through seem too crazy to be true, but yet somehow they did. And that took me from simply enjoying this heart-wrenching movie, to making me care about every moment as a “OH MY GOD” experience.

The special effects were amazing. Let me put that another way: I see so many movies and am jaded by how most movies end up looking, and can spot most CG effects a mile away. The tsunami sequence that happens was done SO well that I genuinely can’t understand how they made it. It was terrifying. And incredibly real.

The actors were great, Naomi Watts deserved the Oscar nomination that she’s gotten, and the eldest son in the movie (Tom Holland) did a hell of a good job. I say that acknowledging that most kid actors annoy me.

Nit-picky criticisms:

-The actual family was from Spain. It’s a bit disappointing that the filmmakers couldn’t find the funding to make it with Hispanic actors and had to whitewash it, but then again it doesn’t make their story any less real or meaningful. And the way I see it, if making it with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor meant it could have the budget and visuals that it had, it was WELL WORTH IT.

-It had a Spielberg level of sentimentality. Both in the acting, the music swelling at times, and some of the dialogue. It definitely could get sappy, in the way that most of Spielbergs’ movies tend to do, but then again, I LOVE most Spielberg movies in spite of that, and who knows, maybe also because of that. And besides, when you’re basing something on an insane true story, I think you can be given a nice amount of leeway to be sentimental.

As always, I will NOT be giving any spoilers, certainly nothing you can’t see in the previews (since I detest seeing spoilers when I haven’t seen movies or TV yet), so I won’t say what happens at the end and who lives or dies in spite of the fact that you know if you’ve read about the actual family. But I will say that I cried a few times during it which is somewhat meaningless since I cry easily even in stupid movies, but my girlfriend Adi does NOT cry in movies (we have that ironic role-reversal there as you can see) but yet she was bawling throughout the movie, both in sad as well as cathartic moments.

Yes I recommend it if you can handle some tough imagery, and I absolutely encourage you to see it on a big screen if possible, as you’ll be blown away by the actual tsunami scenes.

The movie was better than Hereafter, Clint Eastwood’s movie that also takes place during a tsunami (where the special effects were awful in comparison), but it isn’t great as Titanic, a movie that I saw again on the big screen this past year, and reinforced that in spite of it being derided as a teenage girl movie fixation, really was a great movie.

Quality Rating: A (Loses just a notch for some of the more contrived, sentimental movie moments discussed earlier)

Boaz Rating: A+

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One Response to “The Impossible”

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  1. 42 (My First Attempt At A Short Review) | Boaz's Movie Obsession - March 31, 2014

    […] Schmaltz – Most Spielberg movies, as previously discussed in my review of (the very good film) The Impossible.  […]

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