Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 13th January, 2013
I was in Bahrain on Boxing Day 2004, when the tsunami hit the coast of Thailand. The TV was full of shocking footage over the next few days, but I found it hard to imagine what it must have been like to be caught up in the terrifying havoc. This evening I feel I can imagine that much more clearly, having watched Juan Antonio Bayona’s remarkable film, The Impossible. The special effects used in the recreation of the giant tidal wave and its destructive aftermath are stunning and the cast is quite simply brilliant. Ewan McGregor, as the young father of a family literally sewpt up in the disaster puts in what I consider to be his greatest performance to date. Naomi Watts is also fine as his wife and the three boys who play the children are totally credible. The film is based on the true story of what happened to a Spanish family, whose picture appears during the final credits: dark-haired and very Iberain, whereas the film family is very British and ginger/blond. I guess to raise the huge amount of money needed to make such a movie it was ncessary to shoot it in English, with international stars, but as so many of the people involved in its production are Spanish, I assume they were happy with that. Certainly, it is hard to fault the end result and there wasn’t a dry eye in the cinema this evening.