Adrian and I went to watch ‘The Impossible’ on Valentine’s Day last Thursday. Disaster movies generally depress me because there’s just so much effort needed to be one of the few who survive to the end. I always think that I’d probably perish very early on due to a complete lack of tenacity. But ‘The Impossible’ is certainly not your typical disaster movie because it’s based on the true story of a family who (spoiler alert!) survived the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.
I cried quite a bit during the movie. It was easy for me to empathise with Naomi Watt’s character who had to stay strong for the sake of her son who was with her even though she didn’t know if her other two sons had survived. If I had only one of my kids with me, I’d have fallen apart just from worrying about my other kid! Her leg was very badly injured – there was a whole chunk of flesh hanging off her thigh! – but she just kept going. I could feel my leg twinging with phantom pain when she was being dragged to safety by the locals who came to her aid.
One thing we didn’t get was why the father left his two little boys in the care of some stranger while he tried to look for his wife and eldest son. The boys were 7 and 5 years old! What if they got lost and he never saw them again?! After the movie, Adrian and I decided that if we’re ever separated in the event of a tsunami or some other disaster, whoever survives should head for safety as long as he has one kid with him and not worry about looking for the other person.
At the end of the movie, the family is reunited and on their way to Singapore for medical treatment. But even though it’s a relatively happy ending for them, we are still confronted by the devastation caused by the tsunami and by the sheer number of lives lost and families destroyed. For me, the movie is a powerful reminder to focus on the important things in life, to cherish every single day that I have with my family and not to take anything for granted.