01/04/2013 09:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

REVIEW: 'The Impossible'


The Impossible may be the best movie of the year. It is haunting, poignant and true. The Impossible captures the story of the thousands of people in Thailand who suffered through the 2004 tsunami. The film follows the incredible survival story of a woman named Maria's family. But what Belon stresses more than anything else is that the purpose of the film is not to shed light on her family, but to pay respect to all of the people who met the same fate, many of whom were not as fortunate. She attests that the story is about discovering that there is a part of human nature that can only be exposed in times of disaster and utter vulnerability: a proclivity to help others. Rather than to push other people away, many victims of the tsunami came together to help one another heal. Naomi Watts does not only play Maria on screen, she plays the role of the universal mother, a woman who has more courage than she has pain.

The Impossible was not produced to be the next Hollywood blockbuster. It was made to tell the stories of the people of Southeast Asia and it was made to show people not to fear the possibility of being thrust at the peak of danger. Most people believe that they would fall to their knees; they are convinced that they are weak, maybe even selfish. But Belon disagrees. She promises that we all have a will to be resilient and a nature to love and to nurture others who are plagued with the same struggle. The Impossible keenly affects the way you perceive human nature. Whether it is a connection to the past or an anticipation of the future, the film is an emotional experience that reminds you of your own ability to cope with such strife or shows you the courage you have stowed away inside that you are prepared to apply when such a wave hits. The Impossible is one of the few stories that keeps you conscious of being grounded securely in your own seat, while making you feel somewhat removed as your emotions seem to leave your body and touch the palms of the hands that burst out of the water on the screen.