Boxing Day 2004.
Due to an overflowing family home, I had been spending Christmas as a neighbour's house guest. I was woken to be told that there had been a large tidal wave in the Indian Ocean. It appeared to be a calamity for the area.
"Oh, OK", I seem to recall was my immediate reaction. Of coursse I had not realised that the Boxing Day Tsunami, caused by an under sea earthquake just before 1.00 am London Time, was to be one of the largest natural disasters to have struck our planet in recent recorded history.
I do recall that the disaster became the focus of world attention for the following weeks, with hundreds of thousands of people having lost their lives cross South East Asia.
Eight years later and the New Year Blockbuster (in the UK) appears to be 'The Impossible', a dramatisation of the real life story of a family on holiday in Thailand, who were split up by the phenomenal tidal wave that engulfed vast swathes of coastal areas in that country and many of its neighbours.
Unlike the other films that I have seen this year, the cinema was almost full. The audience was also incredibly quiet, gripped by the powerful drama unfolding in front of us. How they filmed some of the sequences I shall never know. Certainly though, the drama and cinematography may be considered epic.
The headline star is Ewan McGregor, but really, Naomi Watts and Tom Holland steal the show. Having said that, the entire cast and the production quality are incredible.
I have said something similar before, but unless you have a massive television set with a cinematic suurround sound system, do go and see this film while it is on at the cinema. It will enthrall you.
At the end, I left the cinema exhausted - so well does it portray what must be such a small part of what was such an enormous disaster.