The director of El Orfanato (The Orphanage) Juan Antonio Bayona, alongside writer Sergio Sanchez, brings us Lo Imposible (The Impossible). It’s a story revolving around the true experiences of one family following the tragic tsunami that hit one of the many islands in Thailand and around. This story specifically revolves around Maria Belon and her family, and the film is adapted from the accounts and events written and documented by Belon. Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland are the leads that deliver the devastation and the difficult time.
There have been many stories that have come out after the tsunami, which affected thousands of people, and years later continue to endure. I had only seen one film by the Spanish duo and it was pretty impressive, although I am not a huge fan of thrillers, El Orfanato surely managed to keep me at the edge of my seat, ready to run out of the theatre (my nerves just can’t handle the thriller/horror genre).
And although I was apprehensive to see this new installment, I gave in only because once again, similar to my last movie experience, the same group of friends kept fawning about this one too. This time, however, that came with a huge warning sign cautioning how difficult and sad it was to sit through. You get the drift.
Well, I did sit through it and did hear quite a bit of sobbing coming from corners of the cinema, but to me the strongest part of the entire feature was the complete and utter destruction that the director showed – a very gripping and realistic rehash of what Mother Nature is capable of is quite powerful to see onscreen. That for me really showcased the ability of the film crew to reassure us of their talent as filmmakers.
Now onto the actual story. Yes, it was very tragic and the acting was impressive; this is after all a true story and what happened to this family is most definitely a life-altering and traumatic experience, one can only sympathise with. My issue with the film though is not that, I just felt that throughout the movie the focus was completely and utterly skewed on that one tragedy. I do understand that this film was made to tell the story of the lives of that particular family but in reality even though you wanted to focus on that, you can at least show the audience that in fact it affected other people, and I personally wanted to see that.
I tended to focus more and more on those people in the background of the film rather than the cast set right in front of me. As much as I wanted to connect with the story, part of me kept thinking about the tragedy as a whole and the nameless people that still have no story to tell. I guess my extremely critical eyes just could not let go of that fact. Needless to say, that doesn’t make it a bad film at all as there was a lot of work put into it and a lot of emotion, you could tell that for sure. As a complete package I felt it was a respectable piece of work that will continue to get the praise that it has been receiving. In my opinion though, I did not quite like it as much as the masses and I shall rate it according to my opinion! 6.8/10.