Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Tears Before Bedtime

Tom Holland as Lucas

I have not read any other reviews of the film THE IMPOSSIBLE, but I have heard that the story of how one English family of five got caught up in the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 has been criticised for its portrayal of the disaster from the tiny perspective of just one foreign family.
This is an unfair criticism. The story is what it is, and although the movie captures perfectly the astonishing destructive force and sheer scale of the disaster, it wisely never really wavers from the physical and psychological journey of the Bennett family and particularly the experiences of the oldest son Lucas, who rises in statue as the whole emergency unfolds.
The whole film is a sob fest from start to finish thanks primarily to an amazingly mature performance by Tom holland as Lucas and a heartbreaking supportive turn by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as his distraught parents.
From the get-go the audience cares deeply and with passion for this family and their survival and so the roller coaster ride of their life after the wave is made even more exhausting.
Having said all this the Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona, peppers the drama time and time again with tear jerking tiny moments of real humanity,where the chance interventions of strangers have an astonishing effect on the family after the tsunami has struck.
And so we see elderly native women gently and silently tending the severely injured Maria (Watts) after she is found..while an injured and bereaved German tourist ( Sönke Möhring) insists a distraught Henry (McGregor) uses his precious phone to contact home.
Elderly Brit (Geraldine Chapman) briefly teams up with middle son Thomas (Samuel Joslin) for a haunting moment of human contact and support made even more moving as she is reminded by the boy that she is seventy four and he is a mere seven and a half  at the same time as Lucas makes it his mission to try and reunite the lost and separated in one of the overrun and crowded community hospitals.
It is these scenes that literally break your heart.
This is a powerful,intensely moving and visually stunning drama of an almost unfilmable event...I have not cried as much since Mabel died
9/10

24 comments:

  1. Wow! What a review - I think this film is now a must see for me. I remember this tsunami vividly because my nephew was over in Thailand getting married when it struck. My brother and sister-in-law were also there, all the way from Scotland, for the wedding and, as is the way of the geographically challenged, I had absolutely no idea where exactly they were. I spent a few agonising hours trying to locate them, only to find they were upcountry, in a tiny village, blissfully unaware of what was going on!!! You wouldn't think it possible that in the 21st century people could be so out of touch. Elizabeth

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  2. Great review - I believe I will make a point to see.
    Thanks, John!

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  3. A very poignant and surreal disaster, I'm a blubberer so have to watch it at home...
    When I watched the War Horse I cried for two days, just too much sadness :(
    Thanks for the review, I'll be watching out for it.
    ~Jo

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  4. Certainly won't be able to sit through this.
    Jane x

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  5. And then of course there's the Japanese one too... I saw that vid of that wave of brown rolling inexorably on and on over the land - unbelievable.

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  6. So, i guess you broke your rule of never crying at films? I think i'll wait for the DVD so i can sob at home.

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  7. I have seen the previews of the film and it looks to be a marvelous one. I hope to see it on the big screen for the powerful effects. Some things are lost by watching it only on TV.

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  8. I'll have to watch at home too, so much more poignant and tragic because it's based closely on truth.
    I'm one of those people who blubber at Bambi ! and Watership Down ? don't get me started (sob)

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  9. A 9/10? Looks like I'm just going to HAVE to see it.
    In my entire life there have only been about 3 or 4 films which would have been worthy of such a high score from me. (Don't ask! - Yet) But even given that my scoring criteria are probably harsher than most peoples', this film has obviously made a very deep impression on you. So it's a case of having to go and find out what all the fuss is about.

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    1. Ray,
      I can understand just why some critics have found it ever so slightly patronising, but I disagree with their simplistic approach... The story could have been about any family regardless of race...... Though I do perhaps acknowledge the fact that in this disaster,foreign tourists perhaps had quicker access to life saving medical care than the native population did

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  10. I'm glad you liked it...I wanted to see it but was outvoted....

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  11. I don't like to cry but the trailers of this film have pulled and taunted me to watch.

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  12. Now, I heard a movie reviewer on the radio saying that it was actually a Brazilian family, but they made it British to make it more "palatable" to viewers or some such thing. I am going to have to look that up now.

    He gave it great reviews and I'd like to see it! The reviewer did mention the fact that plenty of Thais (and Sri Lankans and many others) died in the tsunami and no one made a movie about them, but that this was still very well done and worth seeing.

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    1. I read they were Spanish nat

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  13. See, the reviewer said "Brazilian" but I see Wiki says the family was Spanish!

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  14. Anonymous7:01 pm

    I can't watch it, I cry and blubber at commercials on TV, but it sounds good. I just have to tell you, seeing that chicken looking me straight in the eye anytime I pull your blog up to read , just warms me up!!! I have chickens and I also have a black scottie, I just love reading you.

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    1. Welcome....but you didn't leave your name
      Best john

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    2. Sorry, I'm not used to leaving comments,wish we were neighbors I would love to see all of your animals :)
      Joyce

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  15. I do want to see this one, but will probably wait until it arrives on DVD...just to brace myself with boxes of tissue.

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  16. Just went and found the trailer...I'll be going this weekend. Thanks.

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  17. OMG!! It worked! I tried coming in with Chrome and it didn't block my comment. La-a-a-a-a-a-a!!!!

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    1. Dia lovely to hear from you.......
      Nice to have u. Back x

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  18. No matter what the nationality, it was horrible tragic circumstance; i think by portraying through one families eyes, they gave it the humanity it deserved versus the view of the media, where one could become indifferent...

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