When a family travel to Thailand for a dream Christmas holiday they never expected nature’s dramatic intervention to turn that dream into a nightmare. This is the true story depiction of how the boxing day tsunami of 2004 struck the Thai hotel resort they were staying in and separated a mother, father and their 3 young boys. Struggling to survive the wave itself, trying to find medical assistance after and desperately searching for lost family members not knowing whether they are alive or dead.
The film restricts itself to just this family’s story rather than the disaster itself which I think does help make the film breakaway from what could’ve very easily become a documentary. This does though mean the Thai locals barely feature in what affected them far more than any others. It is ultimately a “tear jerker” film but I think goes a touch too far down the sentimental route which makes it all a little bit less palatable. Watts gives a great performance as the mother and rightfully deserves her various acting nominations as she’s excellent at conveying the pain and distress she’s going through. The scenes filmed underwater when the wave strikes are excellent and superbly give a the viewers the sense of panic, speed and danger. Ultimately though the film just didn’t do enough for me.