The Impossible

This Spanish movie starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor depicts one family’s horrific ordeal after their vacation is cut short by the deadly 2004 tsunami. Based entirely on a true story, the movie leaves no one indifferent. The graphic scenes, the sense of powerlessness against nature, as well as the superb acting make for very emotional two hours.

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I have read that some people complain because the tragedy is told from the perspective of Caucasian tourists. What I cannot understand is how anyone can focus on THAT amid everything else that happens on the screen!! I was too busy fighting back the tears to think about anything other than the agony of all the survivors, not just this family of five.

If we did talk about whitewashing, I would say that the movie obliterates race and religion; that depicting wonderfully helpful locals and hospital staff evokes a sense of a unified humanity that we should all be lucky to live in. I would not be one of the complainers wondering why the movie depicted a family who survived. Instead I would applaud The Impossible for celebrating life, while reminding us not to take our presence here for granted.

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It is rather interesting how distressful situations bring people together. When Serbia was bombed in 1999 I was already living in Canada, but my friends and relatives spoke so much about the sense of unity that prevailed back then. Serbian people never loved each more than during those 3 months, a sharp contrast to our contemporary society (living in peace) when hatred is shooting from everyone’s eyes. It seems that collective suffering always brings out the best in humans, which is really sad if you think about it. This, however, will not deter me from my own path. As a dreamer and an optimist, I will continue to do my part in spreading the love. For succeeding to transmit the message that we should love one another, as well as life itself, I am going to label The Impossible one of the better movies to come out of 2012.

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Amour

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Definitely my pick for the Oscar.

Its simple title – love – has been confusing me since I first heard of the film. Naturally, I have had to watch it to grasp its true, complex meaning. While the story centers around a married elderly couple, Georges and Anne, and their lives after Anne suffers a stroke, the title is not reserved for them alone. Rather, it is there to point out the extent to which this word is absent from everyday interactions.

Georges who is left to look after his wife’s well being has to pay everyone else for their services – the hospital guys for delivering the wife back home, the neighbouring couple for going grocery shopping, the nurses – even the bad one. Love has been replaced with currency, Haneke (writer and director) suggests. No one in this film is motivated by the feeling, everyone is simply focused on what they will gain; except for Anne’s former student. He is the only one who acts out of gratitude. Before she suffered a stroke, Anne was a piano teacher. When the students visits, the couple recount about how much they loved his concert, and remark that they had neglected to buy his CD. They make a point of how they wanted to purchase his CD because they wanted to contribute to his career. Later on in the movie, they receive his disc in the mail. I felt a warmth around my heart at the gesture which stands out from the ruthless, business-like interactions among the rest of the individuals in the film.

Oddly enough, it is this absence of love that awakened my sense of humanity in me, making me even more sympathetic towards my fellow human beings.

The film also reminded me that life can always get worse, and that we should enjoy every single second of our existence. So have a good, JOYOUS life everyone!!

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