Movie Details

The Impossible

Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her. Based on a true story, THE IMPOSSIBLE is the unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, "The Impossible" is a journey to the core of the human heart.

Language: English
Subtitle: Chinese
Classification: PG13
Release Date: 17 Jan 2013
Genre: Action / Drama
Running Time: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
Cast: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Geraldine Chaplin, Tom Holland
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Format: 35MM, 2D


Writer: Lorraine Tan

Writer Ratings:

Watch this if you liked: “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012”

One of the highly anticipated films of 2012 in the US, this is a true-life account of one family who survived the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in Thailand. Set in Khao Lak, a coastal part of Thailand, the movie starts off depicting the breath-taking scenery of Phuket Island.

Despite big Hollywood names like Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, the star of the film is surprisingly Tom Holland who plays Lucas Belon, the eldest child of the Belon family. Holland, though young, definitely does not lose out to the acting skills of his veteran co-stars. Holland matures as the film progresses, from a spoilt elder son to one who takes care of his mother and a caring and thoughtful elder brother.

Ewan McGregor ("Star Wars Episode II: Attack of Clones", "Moulin Rouge") plays a rather low-key character but definitely one with impact. Being a father to four lovely girls in real life, McGregor did a wonderful job as the loving, thoughtful and self-sacrificial parent and his heartfelt emotions were captured beautifully as the film progress.

Naomi Watts ("King Kong", "21 Grams") plays the Spanish doctor who arrived in Khao Lak on Boxing Day, together with her husband, Henry Belon (Ewan McGregor) and her three children for a holiday. Watts displays genuine and raw emotions as Maria Belon; her unpretentious performance just draws the audience in as she fights against the monstrous waves for survival. This might just be her most impressive work up to date, and she has been rewarded thusly with a nomination for Best Actress at the upcoming 85th Academy Awards.

The special effects used in the film are top-notch, the waves of the Tsunami and scenes of destruction are especially realistic, making the audience feel like they are in the midst of an epic disaster. Bloody wounds, broken body parts and blood-splatter might be too much for some audience to stomach, however this further proves the competency and ability of the makeup team to present a believable picture of the real tragedy that has taken place.

The set design of "The Impossible" is also amazing as it captures the destructive force of the tsunami, showing how it leaves nothing in its path and how it turns a beautiful island into a debris-strewn wasteland.

Overall, "The Impossible" is a visually fantastic story about how the Belon family showed their abilities to perform acts of compassion, capacity for courage and love for one another, even to strangers, despite the misfortune they experienced. The spirit of the Belon family will, undeniably, be an inspiration to us.

Cinema Online, 11 January 2013
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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