I’ll start this Tomorrow When The War Began movie review by saying how much I really enjoyed the movie, which surprised me due to my pre-conceived notion that it could not be as good as the book. Well the book is obviously better but this portrayal was also very enjoyable and easy to watch. And I love the way Stuart Beattie cheekily makes reference to this point in one of the scenes from the movie where Corrie is reading the book “My Brilliant Career” and tells Ellie the book is “better than the movie”.
Stuart Beattie did a good job of sticking to the original storyline of Tomorrow When The War Began, although some of the original story from the book is not in the movie due to time constraints, and other parts of the story have been added to. It’s difficult to cover everything in 104 minutes, and I’ve never seen a movie adaption of a book that hasn’t had parts of the story missing.
This coming of age movie starts with Ellie asking some of her friends to go camping with her to a remote, pristine area of bushland the locals call “Hell”. While they’re away some of the teens notice squadrons of planes flying overhead, thinking it unusual but maybe part of the Commemmorative Day celebrations that are going on in their rural township of Wirawee while they’re away.
The teens return home to find the reason for the flyover; their town has been invaded by a foreign enemy force, and their families are being held captive at the showgrounds. They decide that they have to fight guerilla style to try to save themselves, their homes and their families and the story shows the lengths the group goes to in order to do this. It is filled with plenty of action and drama, and reveals how quickly the teens have to grow up and work together in order to take on the enemy force.
Tomorrow When The War Began movie review
My Thoughts On the Actors
Caitlin Stasey did an excellent job of playing the female lead of Ellie, which was a pleasant surprise. I had watched her in Neighbours and didn’t think she was that strong of an actor in the television soapie, though to be fair to Caitlin, her character was not that strong in the series and you can only work with the script you’re given. Caitlin gives a gutsy performance in her role of Ellie while also showing the vulnerable side of her character as she contemplates the gravity of some actions she has to carry out in order to save herself and her friends.
Deniz Akdeniz also played an excellent role as the character of Homer. I haven’t seen him in any roles previous to this, and he played Homer with a great deal of believability. Considering his is the character that is the practical joker and he is constantly having run-ins with the police prior to the invasion, his natural ability to lead is bought to the fore as he faces a world of chaos and uncertainty. He, along with Ellie, really take control of the situation they find themselves in with grit and a maturity beyond their years.
Lincoln Lewis plays a good role of the cowardly ocker Kevin, though towards the end of the movie, Kevin reveals a more caring and courageous nature.
Corrie, who is played by English actress Rachel Hurd-Wood does an excellent Australian accent. In fact she sounded more Aussie than Caitlin Stasey and Phoebe Tonkin who are both Australian actors. She does a good job of playing Ellie’s best friend and Kevin’s girlfriend.
Phoebe Tonkin plays the refined Fiona well, though I didn’t like the way the character of Fi was dumbed down. Her character isn’t that of a dumb blonde in the book, yet I feel she was portrayed that way in the Tomorrow movie, in the beginning at least.
Ashleigh Cummings was a credible Robyn, whose character was made much more religious in the movie. I also think she appears as a stronger character in the book; she doesn’t have to compromise her values which she does in the movie in a big way towards the end.
Lee’s role doesn’t seem as big in the movie as it is in the book, though Chris Pang does a good job of playing the gifted yet introverted Lee. I would have liked to see more of Lee’s character portrayed in the movie, along with his relationship with Ellie – we don’t get to see that awkward development between the pair that is better represented in the book.
Andy Ryan does a great job of playing the pot-smoking stoner Chris who makes an appearance later in the movie. I loved the scene where Ellie gives Chris a serve for falling asleep while he was supposed to be on watch.
I wish the movie had been longer and concentrated on the development of the characters more. You don’t form as strong a bond with the characters in the movie as you do in the book. You also don’t get to see the relationship development between Ellie and Lee or Homer and Fi. But I suppose that is being a little nit-picky considering the time limitations of the movie.
The ending while sticking to the main storyline of the book takes a few twists and turns, with Corrie being shot under different circumstances and all the characters being involved in blowing up the bridge, whereas in the book only half of them are there.
All in all though, the movie was very enjoyable, with plenty of action scenes that had me on the edge of my seat at times. It should do as well overseas as it has done at the box office in Australia. I’ll finish this Tomorrow When The War Began movie review by giving the movie a score of 7 out of 10.