Unlike with most of these so-called "true stories" of recent times, The Impossible remains tremendously faithful to its original source, and without entirely boring the audience. That is of course, aside from the odd Hollywood style changes, such as Ewan McGregor playing a father called Henry, instead of his original name, Quique. But then again, in this tale the family are all English folk, as opposed to being Spanish from the true event.
I've often heard reviews accusing The Impossible, as being a soap opera set during a tsunami; or in other words, Titanic for the next generation. To some point I agree, both Titanic and The Impossible are heavy character dramas, and each are set during a disaster of ample proportions; but there are still many key differences between them. For one, the two weakly written young lovers, Jack and Rose, are entirely fictitious and unnecessary. Not only that, but in Titanic, much of the story isn't true; of course other than a few key characters, and the actual ship sinking. However in The Impossible, the family themselves, and what they go through, is an almost entirely accurate portrayal. Most notably, is the cast; Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, and Oaklee Pendergast, each deliver emotionally gut wrenching performances, which helps create a deeply moving, and often terrifying film. Whereas in Titanic, well, having DiCaprio as one of your main leads, doesn't exactly help the situation.
On top of its momentous performances, and heart-warming premise, The Impossible features a shockingly beautiful use of cinematography, which not only captures your attention, but sucks you down underwater, and throws you around like a battered rag doll.
The Impossible is not only by far the most uncomfortable film of the year; it could quite possibly be one of the best. This is undoubtedly a tough tale to follow through, but unless you're evasive of intense affairs, you don't want to miss it.
OFLC (Office of Film and Literature Classification) rating: