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Film of the Week - The Impossible (12A, 114 mins)

Undated Film Still Handout from The Impossible. Pictured: (l-r) SAMUEL JOSLIN, EWAN McGREGOR and OAKLEE PENDERGAST. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/E One. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout from The Impossible. Pictured: (l-r) SAMUEL JOSLIN, EWAN McGREGOR and OAKLEE PENDERGAST. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/E One. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

On December 26, 2004, while many in the West were bloated with post-Christmas excess, communities across southern Asia faced unimaginable devastation.

An earthquake off the coast of northern Sumatra displaced huge volumes of water, resulting in a massive tsunami that ripped through the region. Thousands of people were killed and many more were left homeless by a wall of roaring, churning water.

“This is the true story of one of those families,” declares The Impossible, a harrowing drama about five people caught up in the disaster, who mustered formidable strength and courage to search for each other amid scenes of heartbreaking loss.

Adapted by screenwriter Sergio G Sanchez from the recollections of survivors Maria and Enrique Belon, Juan Antonia Bayona’s film packs a mighty emotional punch.

Henry (Ewan McGregor) and Maria (Naomi Watts) arrive in the tropical paradise of Thailand with their sons, Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast).

They open Christmas presents on the patio overlooking the sea, unaware of the horror to come.

Maria and Lucas are carried away by the surge and when the water eventually recedes, they hobble through mud in search of survivors, while Henry is forced to leave his two youngest boys in the care of strangers in order to learn the fate of his wife and eldest child.

 

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