Friday, January 04, 2013

The Impossible (2012)

The Impossible
Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona
Starring: Tom Holland, Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Samuel Joslin, Geraldine Chaplin
Grade: C+ [54]

If we hadn’t already gathered that “The Impossible” is based on real events, Juan Antonio Bayona’s lingering fade on the words ‘true story’ punctuate a prologue to this two-hour dramatisation of a recent catastrophe. In chronicling the struggle of a British family caught up in the Tsunami which devastated South East Asia in 2004, Bayona disguises his film as a significant factual insight when, in fact, it is far better viewed within the confines of its disaster movie format.  

From a technical standpoint the film is a real accomplishment; even in its grandness of scale the Tsunami sequence has a barbed authenticity, and the wasteland left behind by the waves provides a ravaged, compact gauntlet for the stranded tourists to navigate. “The Impossible” is successful at delivering the bombastic sequences and plot pitfalls we associate with the disaster epic, but its episodic-yet-boldly-dynamic narrative style seems to generate conflict with its filmmakers’ sense of duty. Essentially, this is just as much of a product as “Poseidon” was, but self-serious, overly-sentimental, and hesitant to embrace its genre roots.


Alex in Movieland said...

And yet no word on Naomi Watts :P what kind of Best Actress fan are you?!

Calum Reed said...

If she's nominated I'll do a profile on the nominees (already drafted one for Jennifer Lawrence) and Watts will get her 200 words.

The short answer to your question is that she's pretty good, but I can't get excited about the performance. A bit more confident about her chances of a nomination than I was before seeing it; she's hardly in the second half of the film, but she does get the final emotional release in it.

Alex in Movieland said...

Yeah, I kinda imagined you were "saving" her on purpose. :)