Lo imposible [The Impossible] (2012)

(On Cable TV, November 2013) There are disaster movies made to be entertainingly exhilarating, and there are other designed to make the audience experience going through an ordeal themselves.  So it is that watching The Impossible feels like going through a natural catastrophe.  Dramatizing the life story of a British family that survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, The Impossible spares no effort in graphically showing the devastation unleashed by the natural disaster.  Watching some of the sequences of the film, it’s hard to believe that director J.A. Bayona has found a way to stage this amount of mayhem without destroying an entire country.  Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star as a couple who find themselves (and their three boys) separated from each other, forced to survive and find each other despite all odds.  (Watts gets the most thankless role, including a gory moment in which the extent of her leg injuries are revealed.) It’s a harrowing film –the tsunami sequences are brutal, but they’re the only fun part in a film that graphically portrays an incredible amount of suffering and destruction.  The end of the film, as heart-warming as it is, comes as a welcome return to comfortable reality for viewers.  The Impossible is impressive, but it’s certainly not a pleasant experience, and anyone looking for easy entertainment may want to push this one further back in the queue of upcoming viewing.

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