Did we like it?
We marvelled at the expensive recreation of the tsunami that devastated parts of south-eat Asia two years ago, concentrating on the paradise resort of Khao Lak in Thailand, but we concluded there was no real need to make the disaster into entertainment.
What was good about it?
• Abi Morgan’s script was impressive, linking a variety of stories of those who survived – or perished.
• Hugh Bonneville as the rather useless UK envoy in Thailand, worrying about where he can get a cup of coffee first, the plight of British citizens next.
• Toni Collette as the sympathetic, pragmatic Australian aid worker who gets things done while the Brits flounder
• The beauttiful Samrit Machielsen as a Thai waiter. His family was wiped out, then he was nicked for helping himself to a drink in a wrecked shop, yet he remained calm and brave.
• Part two looks like being a corker as ruthless businessmen make a bid for land and race to get capitalism up and running again, trampling over the dead bodies in their greed.
• The impressive – but morally dubious – depiction of the wave striking, combining real footage with film of the cast in the crashing waters.
What was bad about it?
• The Carters (Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sophie Okonedo) dominated the storyline and while Ian’s lonely desperation was the most gripping part of the drama, wife Susan’s hysteria and anger at her husband (for failing to hold on to their six-year-old daughter) gave it an annoying, soapy angle.
• Tim Roth as the unshaven, intrusive journalist and Gina McKee as the weepy mother didn’t really convince us