I think it may just be the sheer volume of death involved, but there’s something just the tiniest bit weird to me about blockbusting the 2004 tsunami. With nearly a quarter-of-a-million dead, it’s truly among the deadliest natural disasters in human history and is the kind of devastating event that will wiped entire cities of the face of the planet, and will have crippled others for decades. All that said, I’m shocked even as I type to realize we’re nearing a decade between then and now, so perhaps it’s not such a bold step to have produced The Impossible. Besides, Clint Eastwood already schmaltzed the shit out of it in Hereafter, so we can only go up.

I will say the spanish-language trailer above does push the spectacle of the event, but there’s plenty of the awe-filled tone (glowy images and choral score) that these films employ to be “respectful” of tragedy. On the positive side of things, director Juan Antonio Bayona has a good reputation from his well-liked The Orphanage, and he’s telling a story that is, in fact, quite true.

    A powerful story based on one family’s survival of the 2004 tsunami, The Impossible stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor and is directed by J.A. Bayona (THE ORPHANAGE).

    Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her.

    Based on a true story, The Impossible is the unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, The Impossible is a journey to the core of the human heart.

I’d the think the filmmakers will have been wise to stay away from too much focus on the spectacle of flooding and destruction, as frankly nothing a movie could come up with could possible do justice to the horror we were all able to witness in real-time, real-POV videos at the time of the crisis. This is especially so after last year’s tsunami in Japan, which produced some of the most shocking video of destruction and natural disaster anyone has ever seen. If there’s a well-captured sense of inspiring survival though, I’m sure the movie will resonate.

This is an October release in Spain, but there’s no word on when the WB flick will hit the US.

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Source | Collider