Watched It - April 27, 2013
Stars - Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts
Director - Juan Antonio Bayona
Rating - PG-13
In 20 Words or Less - A family torn apart by the 2004 tsunami must struggle to survive and reunite in the midst of overwhelming devastation.
Themes - Family unity, compassion, service to others, selflessness, the value of life, human suffering
Pros - Those who have or will watch this movie may think this is an odd word to describe it, but I would like to use the word--beautiful. This was a beautiful movie. The beauty comes, not from the scenery around the characters, but from within the characters themselves. As this young family struggles their way through the chaos, the acts of compassion, kindness, and selflessness are beautiful and moving. I was truly touched by watching this film. The director's use of foreshadowing was very effective, as was his use of sound to immerse the viewer in the moment. The young actors in this movie were quite engaging.
Cons - I list this as a "con" although I don't necessarily think it took away from the film. I list it as more of a warning to those who have not yet watched it. The movie provides a realistic, almost painstaking glimpse of the tsunami and its aftermath. The graphic detail can make it difficult to watch at times. (That being said, I think the director was fairly balanced in his restraint. There is, undoubtedly, a lot more he could have shown.) The pacing of the plot felt a bit rushed near the end. (It was over way sooner than I expected!) Again, I don't necessarily think this was terrible. The story stayed focused and didn't wander into any unnecessary territory. I can't really think of any points that truly made the movie less than it could have been. It was very good.
Movie Moment - [Spoiler Alert] I loved the scene where the young boy Maria and Lucas saved from the flood is reunited with his family. In fact, all of the scenes of reuniting were very, very good!
Genuineness - 10 out of 10