Tomorrow When the War Began ReviewCast
: Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akdeniz, Phoebe Tonkin, Chris Pang, Ashleigh Cummings, Andy RyanDirector
: Stuart Beattie Genre
: Drama, ActionRated
: MRunning Time
: 120 minutesSynopsis
: Based on the Novel by John Marsden, Tomorrow, When The War Began follows the journey of eight high school friends in a remote country town whose lives are suddenly and violently upended by a war that no one saw coming. Cut off from their families and their friends, these eight extraordinary teenagers must learn to escape, survive and fight back against a hostile military force.Verdict
: Tomorrow: When The War Began has to be one of the most eagerly awaited Australian films for 2010. Over 25,000 people viewed the teaser trailer within 24 hours of its debut, mostly fans of John Marsden's best-selling and well-loved Tomorrow book series; I was one of these overly eager fans.
Honestly, this movie can be described in one word: phenomenal
. Tomorrow: When The War Began is an engaging action film that is intense and well-written; this movie is sure to be a huge success.
As a dedicated Marsden fan I had high hopes for this film and they were lived up to. The novel is taken from page to screen in true form of the first book in the Tomorrow series.
The town, Wirrawee, population: 3,871, is just as I had imagined it, beautiful and wholesome. Filmed in the Hunter Valley this film showcases the best of Australia's amazing landscapes.
The film opens quickly with a short introduction to the seven characters and their relationships as they embark on a camping trip before returning to school.
On return the group of seven, discovers that all of their parents and most of Wirrawee are being held hostage at the Wirrawee Showgrounds. The young adults bravely fight for their survival as well as their towns. Unlike many action films Tomorrow: When The War Began showcases teenagers, at their best and proves that female teenagers are as heroic and courageous as their male counterpart and adults.
Pivotal character, Ellie Linton (Caitlin Stasey) is a respectful character that will inspire all young females, not to blow up things but to take a stand. The main difference of the film is visually; understandably Ellie records the group's experiences on a camcorder instead of writing them down, as shown in the book.
Stasey's portrayal of Ellie is excellent; she is able to capture the confusion of war, her choices and teen romance.
All seven teenagers (Ellie, Lee, Homer, Fi, Corrie, Kevin, Robyn) show change throughout the film and are able to capture the essence of the film and depict Marsden's goal of portraying young people as being capable of achieving great things.
It is easy to relate to these teenagers and their characteristics, whatever your age and experiences. Kevin Holmes (Lincoln Lewis) at first is a scared teenager who bravely redeems himself allowing males to easily relate to Kevin and his changing character. Homer (Deniz Akdeniz) shows the biggest change, out of the male group, as he is forced to grow up throughout the film. As a new-comer Deniz Akdeniz proves that he is an extremely talented actor and is convincing in playing a cheeky, yet mature Homer.
The initial action scene with Ellie and the ride-on-lawnmower is exactly how I had imagined from reading the book, as was the main bridge scene. However, in saying that, I hadn't envisioned as much violence whilst reading the book as provided in the film.
The film takes a poke at the theory that often the books are better than the movie, but in this case, I'm not convinced. I love the book series and would read them again and again. But, for those who are not interested in reading, the movie portrayal gives as much to the viewer as the first book, in the series. I only hope that this film will encourage teenagers to want to know more and begin reading Marsden's highly successful series.
My only criticism is that the film wasn't long enough, even though it went for two hours, I wanted more. The ending leaves the film open for a sequel; let's hope they use the next couple of books, in the series, to continue the film from where this one finishes.
Tomorrow: When The War Began is a heartfelt epic film that could easily have been filmed in Hollywood instead of Australia. The film is shot magnificently and the action and stunts are nothing short of extraordinary. This is definitely one to see.Rating
-Brooke HunterRelease Date
: 2nd of September, 2010Website