Chiangrai Times – The official trailer has been released for “The Impossible,” a new film starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts that retells one family’s true survival story in Thailand after the December 26, 2004 tsunami.
The scenes in the trailer alone are powerful enough to force some viewers to reach for the tissues. For those in Thailand who witnessed the tragedy first hand, its realistic depictions of the tsunami that killed 300,000 people might be downright unbearable.
“The Impossible” trailer shows a happy young family on holiday at a Thai resort, enjoying the pool before the tsunami hits. The parents and their sons are broken up and try to locate each other amidst the destruction and rushing waters, while interacting with other survivors.
Cue somber music and a poignant tag line on the power of the human spirit.
Though the film — shot in part on the beaches around Khao Lak and Koh Phi Phi, south of Phuket — will remind the world of the horrors that followed the most devastating natural disaster to hit the South Asia region in recent history, its impact on Thai tourism will likely be minimal.
Tourists have long since returned to the Andaman Sea’s beaches and islands in record numbers. In the months after the tragedy authorities installed tsunami warning systems and worked with local tourism operators and officials to revamp their emergency response procedures.
Early criticism of ‘The Impossible’
So far, what seems to be unsettling viewers of the trailer more than anything is the choice of actors?
“It’s hard not to notice that the family we’re supposed to connect with, root for, and invest in is a white family on holiday at a luxurious resort, despite the fact that this specific natural disaster devastated the Indonesian coast and affected far more Indonesian, Sri Lankan and Thai people,” said a writer on entertainment site Zimbio.com.
Others say it’s wrong for filmmakers to be profiting from the tragedy. These comments are of course based on the trailer alone, so the film itself might silence critics.
Surely no coincidence, “The Impossible” is being released in mid-December, just prior to the 8th anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami.
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