Viewed – 12 May 2013 Pay-per-view
On hearing of the Tsunami disaster boxing day 2010 in Thailand, I think I was not alone for feeling great sorrow for all those that had suffered and died. It shook the world and put usual yuletide spirits on a major downer. So with the disaster still clear in my head, I sat down to watch this dramatization, based on the true story of one family, with much anticipation.
This stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as a couple, who along with their three boys journey to an island resort in Thailand. However their enjoyment of the holiday is cut short when an unexpected tidle wave hits the beach, and destroys everything in its path. Watts becomes separated from her husband, and we watch with anticipation as the family struggle to find each other again. This is a very powerful and emotionally draining experience. Shot with incredible detail and raw believability by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) and with several excellent performances, not just from Watts (who was Oscar nominated) and McGregor but also the child actors playing the couples kids … this is a movie about survival and about a family. I found myself really caught up in their plight and even had a tear (or two) in my eye at times.
I really can’t praise this enough. It doesn’t gloss over the true horror of what happened and shows us every detail to harrowing effect. Naomi Watts really should have got the Oscar for her very human and traumatic turn, but I’d also give the nod to director Bayona, who considering this is his English language debut, has done astonishing work here … clearly a name to look out for. How some of the reenactment of the Tsunami was done, I still can’t get my head around.
Verdict: 5 /5