December 28, 2014
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Movie Review
The Impossible
Don Fowler
4 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Gripping true tsunami survival story)

The Impossible" is one of the most gripping, tense, frightening, yet uplifting films we have ever seen. It is based on the true story of a family who survived the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, and it is frighteningly told through their eyes.
The movie opens with the serenity and happiness of a family vacationing in a brand new oceanfront resort in Khoak, Thailand. And then, out of nowhere, a tsunami sweeps over the resort and a good portion of the land, destroying property and people in its path. The special effects are so real they make you cringe at the destruction.
The mother (incredible performance by Naomi Watts) is swept away with Lucas, her oldest son (Tom Holland) by the surging waters in scenes that are made to seem so real that we found ourselves gasping and our whole bodies tightening in fear for their lives. They miraculously manage to survive, although Marie was badly injured, and are saved by a local family who can't speak their language. She is taken to a makeshift hospital, where people are frantically searching for their loved ones and the understaffed personnel are overwhelmed.
The chaos is also overwhelming as this underdeveloped country tries to cope with sickness, death, disease and frustrating searches for loved ones. There are moments when you want to close your eyes to avoid the suffering and pain, and there are also moments of hope. One touching scene has Lucas bringing together a boy and his father. Also touching, to the point of tears, is the love and caring and fear that Lucas shows toward his mother as she struggles to stay alive.
Meanwhile, the father (Ewan McGregor) has managed to survive with his two youngest sons but has no idea if his wife and other son are alive. He sets out searching for her and has a number of misses.
The movie ends poignantly, leaving us emotionally exhausted. This movie is not for the faint at heart, but amidst all of the death and destruction there is hope and the uplifting of the human spirit. It is one awesome movie. How the special effects people made every scene so realistic is beyond our comprehension.
Rated PG-13 because of its intensity. You'll have to travel to Providence Place to see it, but it is well worth it. Stop at the Food Court, where most of the vendors give you free samples and dinner specials.


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