Movie review: The Impossible (2012)

I do not recall where I heard about this movie and why I added it to my must-see list. But I did. It is one of those movies about a disaster, a catastrophe that happens. Based on a true story. Based how much?

The movie was good enough for this genre. It is a tale that tugs at your heartstrings. There is tragedy, but in the end, we get a Hollywood ending. Sort of.

Is this what really happened during and after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean? Don’t know. But it is humbling to speculate that this movie may represent even a fraction of what happened.

We see resourcefulness. People struggling to survive. And then helping one another when they encountered others in trouble. The kindness shown to strangers is touching. Is that really how it was? Or is this an idealized representation of how people are in disasters?

I must admit, at the get-go, I wasn’t too emphatic with the family we follow in the movie. A wealthy Western family vacationing in Thailand for Christmas. And then we hear of the possibility of the father being laid off. How will they survive financially? I tried not to roll my eyes but realized that my reaction probably says something about me. Huh.

Then the unthinkable happens. And suddenly it doesn’t matter who they are. How wealthy they are. (Or aren’t). They are human beings, struggling to live through a terrible ordeal while bodies float around them. The dramatization of what they went through with the waves pounding them and dashing them into objects of all types (or pounding objects of all types into them) was chilling. How could anyone have survived that?

I am not sure that I would recommend this movie. But if you do see it, pay attention to your reactions. How do you view human nature? Human reactions to crises? Your reaction to the story? To the people? Can you imagine being in that situation? And surviving? Would it make you more human and humane? Or less?

 

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