The Impossible – The Kindness of Stars and Strangers

I promised myself, after watching The Impossible once, that I could never bring myself to watch it twice. I usually follow the instructions firmly noted in my head but this 2012 movie starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts was, like the title, impossible to avoid.

In 2004, the Indian Ocean Tsunami hit Thailand with surprising force a wave so devastating that its rippling effects can still be felt. Mother Nature was unusually fierce, angry and unforgiving on that day showing no mercy to any man, woman or child in her path.

The two things that stood out for me as I watched, aghast at these real life events, was how one family, separated by the cruelest circumstances, never stopped looking for each other and the kindness of strangers, emerging from treacherous waters helping them to reunite. I just can’t think of a more factually, powerful story and couldn’t for the life of me see how this tragedy could end well for a family in the midst of something unimaginable; but I was so wrong.

I know how the love we have for people can be all we need to progress, achieve and inspire but this movie, even in its ugly parts, beautifully shows us how far we will go to save each other. It’s true, unfortunately, that not everyone can be so selfless but the actions of this together, whilst apart family shows us how it is humanly possible.

Mother Nature was the cruel instigator but another, kind mother, continued to nurture and teach her eldest son as she lay dangerously close to becoming a burnt out star which her two missing sons were gazing upon, wondering if the brightest was their mummy. Many will not be able to watch as this story unfolds, the first scenes are uneasy and many of my friends switched off. It’s easy to switch off though isn’t it? Not so easy for anyone desperate for a lifeline. Choking on infested waters; suffocated by tsunami stench.

There are so many messages in this story, some are obvious and others are hidden for you to find but only if you watch and as good as most movies are, as wonderfully written, as breathtakingly acted; there is nothing more absorbing than genuine events with genuine people.

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