The Impossible is based on a true story of a family that stays together even when everything is stacked against them. It is set during the Indian Ocean tsunami that destroyed parts of Thailand in 2004. This disaster occurred during the Christmas season when the resort area has full of tourists.
Henry Bennett (Ewan McGregor), a British executive, and his wife Maria (Naomi Watts), a doctor, brought their three sons to the exotic country for a vacation.
Then disaster strikes as waves as high as 100 feet reaches the shore. Maria and their eldest son Lucas (Tom Holland) are separated from Henry and their two younger sons, Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast).
Spanish director J.A. Bayona manages to recreate the sensation of being swept away by the giant waves and dragged underwater by current. You will find yourself fighting for breath. Maria gets seriously injured and Lucas brings her to a hospital just in time. Henry doesn’t know their whereabouts and starts his frantic search for them.
The Impossible brings remarkable visuals. The experience is amplified by the performance of the actors who bring more depth to their roles. Naomi Watts brings her best as she displays the right intensity required by her character. Ewan McGregor matches that with his own ferocity and expressions. Tom Holland shows the right emotions. As Lucas, he comes from being scared to angry and finally courage to overcome the odds.
The filmmaker aims to make the scenes look authentic to make it like a true story. The movie is based on interviews with family members and other survivors of the tragedy. Some of them even appeared in The Impossible. The footage of the tsunami was taken in a water tank in Spain as well as some of the interior shots but most of the movie was shot in Thailand.