“The Impossible” begins with a full sentence of text explaining that the film is based on a true story. That sentence then does a slow fade to black, but leaves the words “true story” behind. After scoffing at the overly dramatic opening, I was sure “The Impossible” would be melodrama to the max, manipulating emotions rather than earning them. To my surprise, delight and horror, the film brings on the waterworks and goes on to earn each and every drop.
Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star as Maria and Henry, two loving parents traveling with their young sons, Lucas, Thomas and Simon (Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast), to Thailand for a vacation. The trip is packed with wonderful meals, family bonding and Christmas presents up until the morning of December 26, 2004. While enjoying a day at the pool, the family, other hotel guests and just about every person in the coastal zone is swept away by a devastating tsunami.
When the wave subsides, Maria resurfaces and is only able to track down her eldest son, Lucas. While the two desperately try to make it to drier land Henry and the other two boys are holed up at the hotel. An opportunity to be taken to safer ground arises, but Henry can’t leave without finding his wife and son first.
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