27 Oct 2012

Movie Magic: The Impossible

What's impossible about the movie The Impossible is to walk out of the cinema without having shed a few tears! Go ahead, try it. I dare you! (be sure to stock up on kleenex). Seriously. A crowded room full of noisy people (including lots of popcorn munching teens) in minutes went dead silent, the only sound to be heard gasps and sniffles. And applause when it ended. My heart is still racing!!!

You probably have no idea what I'm talking about since this film won't hit screens in the U.S. until November and the UK until January so I'd better give you some more info! For starters the reason we got it in Spain a month before anyone else is because it's a 100% Spanish film, although most people won't realise that seeing as how it was filmed in English with international stars (Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and a lovely cameo by Geraldine Chaplin). Although as usual I was stuck watching it dubbed in Spanish! :p But look at the names involved behind the camera and they're all Spanish! Plus part of it was filmed here in Alicante (I just learnt that online)! Oh, and just for stats: it broke all box office records in Spain for biggest weekend opening 2 weeks ago, and although since then it's been playing on 2 screens in my local cinema, one show per hour, the room was still packed! :o)

Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona with a screenplay by Sergio Sánchez based on the true story of a Spanish family (María Belón, her husband Enrique Alvarez and their three young kids Lucas, Tomás and Simón) who were enjoying their 2004 Christmas holiday at a beach resort in Thailand. Perhaps you remember what happened on December 26th 2004 in Thailand? THE Tsunami. Yup. I certainly remember it. Not as vividly as the one in Japan because I only got vague news blasts via some kind of news-fax on-board ship (I spent the 26th travelling from Europe to Tasmania and then got on a ship which departed for Antarctica a few days later. No TV anywhere.) but the data that kept coming in was scary.

In this movie the family are changed from Spanish to Anglo (not sure if Brits or not, dubbed remember?) and residing in Japan. The couple are played by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, who do an amazing job brining their characters to life. But the real scene-stealer is young Tom Holland who plays the oldest son Lucas. Most of the story is seen through his and his mother's (Watts) eyes. Their scenes together are very intense (as is a lot of the movie!) and real. And he has moments on his own where he'll knock your socks off! Apparently they got to meet their "real-life counterparts" when the movie was premiered in the Toronto film festival. Nice!

Naomi Watts and Tom Holland

I won't go into details on the story, wouldn't want to spoil anything. There are obviously some very intense moments and also some very emotional, sweet ones. The director has stated that he wanted to show what wasn't seen on the news, the human component, the reality on the ground. The writer, director and composer definitely want to tug on your heart strings. Like I said, not a dry eye in the cinema! As for the technical aspects... WOW!!! The whole actual tsunami part was just... jaw-dropping! The aftermath shudder-inducing. Apparently a lot of the extras (for the part filmed in Thailand) were tsunami survivors. Must have been weird for them... 

I'll just leave you with the trailer. And I heartily recommend it! Let me know what you think once you've had a chance to see it! Oh, and this trailer is in Spanish (but they don't say much). I chose it because the longer "official" trailer in English pretty much gives away the whole film!!! So stay away from it. ;o)


  1. Oh, this is one I want to see, Cris! It sounds like just my kind of movie. Thanks for the review and I'll let you know what I think once I get a chance to see it! :-)

  2. Thanks for the heads up on this one. Looks like a definite must see for me.

  3. I'm sure you guys will really enjoy it! I hope it gets a decent release in the US!

  4. Wonderful review. I'm so glad we both agree on how powerful and emotional the film was. And I just read that you're FROM Spain. How wonderful. I'm in Lebanon by the way so we're not that far!
    Truly spectacular film!

    1. I'm glad we're on the same page with this film too!

      It's such a pity they delayed the release in many countries until Christmas... I'm pretty sure it's gotten lost in the "big holiday movies" shuffle (doesn't stand much of a chance against The Hobbit or Les Misérables *sigh*).

      Lebanon... some day I'll make over there! The closest I've been is Greece this past summer and Jordan when I was 7. Loooooong time ago! :p

  5. I had no idea about the true story part, so I was really worried about what their fate would be. Ewan and Naomi are so great here, as are the children.

    1. They made a big deal about it here in Spain, so we definitely knew that part going in.


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