Last night was Mary’s night out with the girls. They call themselves the “Gathering of the Goddesses”, or GOG. I call it my chance to go see any movie that I want. Last night I picked one that was the highest-rated movie in the theater: The Impossible. It was rated at 88 by movie-goers and 83 by the critics. I had to go find out why.
It is the true story (note: not “based on” or “close to” or “similar to” or “suggested by”) of a family on vacation in Khao Lak, Thailand, in December, 2004, who were swept away by the worst tsunami in history. No, this is worse than the one that struck Japan. Much worse. It cost 227,898 their lives. It was the result of the third worst earthquake in recorded history: a 9.1 on the moment magnitude scale (which replaced the Richter scale). The earthquake unleashed a wall of water 98 feet high. When it hit the beach at Khao Lak, it washed a 2600-ton ship two miles inland where it remains today as a tourist attraction.
The movie depicts with breath-taking and frightening reality the true story of Maria Belon, her husband and three little boys.
I was simply stunned. This outdid anything I’ve ever seen, including The Matrix or 2001: A Space Odyssey or anything by Jason Bourne or James Bond. As a father I kept asking, “How would I have coped with this?” “What would I have done?”
This was far more than an evening’s entertainment. It was a riveting account of how normal people reacted to a moment of peril and a potentially life-ending experience.
Drop what you’re doing and go see it. See if you don’t agree.