Film review: Impossible search

The Impossible (12A) **** The Heart of Hawick – Tower Mill

This is the true story of a family’s experience in the 2004 tsunami. In real life, they were Spanish. Here, they are English. We learn nothing about them.

When the big wave hits, Mr and Mrs Bennett have just arrived at a swish Thai resort with their three children.

Survival becomes the primal instinct, followed by fear, disorientation and panic. Will they come through intact? Will they come through at all?

Spanish director J. A. Bayona recreates nature’s devastation extremely well. Miracles happen, death is swift, often stolen, communications break down.

This is a search movie. With the exception of the eldest son (strong performance from Tom Holland) and mum (Naomi Watts), there is little time to empathise with anyone. Sub plots and parallel storylines have no space to evolve.

Chaos rules. Chaos, and a desperate desire for closure.