The Impossible: Swept Away

by Ethan Alter December 21, 2012 5:58 am
<i>The Impossible:</i> Swept Away

Viewed purely as a ripped-from-the-headlines survival story, Spanish director J.A. Bayona's new film The Impossible is an often harrowing experience, depicting the devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami that engulfed South Asia in December 2004 through the eyes of one family, who are left separated in its wake. On holiday in Thailand when the tidal wave sweeps through, British couple Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three adorable boys -- who are, in order of age, Lucas (Tom Holland), Simon (Oaklee Pendergast) and Thomas (Samuel Joslin) -- abruptly go from lounging about the pool at their high-end resort to fighting for their lives as the current rockets them along. When they're finally becalmed, Maria and Lucas are miles from the hotel, while Henry, Simon and Thomas manage to find safe harbor closer by, and each group believes that the other is likely dead. Henry refuses to abandon all hope, however, and goes hunting for his wife and eldest son at the same time that Lucas is bringing his severely wounded mom to an overcrowded hospital where she joins the ranks of the hundreds and hundreds of people in immediate need of medical attention. Will her husband find her? And, if he does, will she still be alive?

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