‘The Impossible’ offers more than meets the eye

Recently I’d been feeling very underwhelmed with the all the movies I’d been watching. It had been weeks since I’d seen a movie that really moved me. That all changed when I watched J.A. Bayona’s “The Impossible.” To my great surprise and delight, “The Impossible” left me reeling in the best kind of way.

The film is based off of a terrible tsunami that wreaked havoc on Thailand in 2004. It follows the Bennetts, a loving family of five whose cheerful Christmas vacation gets abruptly washed away. One moment they’re lounging poolside, and the next moment they are being thrown around by the tsunami. The Bennetts are separated and struggle to find their way to safety and their way back to each other.

It is impossible not to root for these characters. Maria, the mother, is strong, and she adores her family and helping others. Lucas, the oldest son, is sassy and brave and has inherited a lot of his mother’s goodness. They are, by far, the two characters we get the most of, and the ones I felt the most connected to. I wouldn’t have minded getting a better feel for the other three members of the family, but the facets of their personalities that I did get to see were beautiful.

There are scenes throughout the film that made my stomach contort— horrifying but authentic. This film unflinchingly displays the destruction that one natural disaster left in its wake. On the other, though, there were some really poignant moments in this film as well. So many emotions washed over me while I was watching. I cried during the heartbreaking scenes and cried during the heartwarming scenes. What is incredible is that “The Impossible” manages to evoke all these feelings and reactions without being melodramatic or over-the-top simply for the sake of entertainment. It’s all painfully real.

“The Impossible” is the kind of movie that is difficult to talk about because I don’t want to give anything away—I just want people to experience it! Quite frankly, I thought this movie would be boring. I did not expect the suspense, the honesty, and the emotion. There was not a single second of this movie when I was unengaged. I sincerely believe that anyone who takes the time to watch this movie will be affected by it.