I went and saw Tomorrow, When The War Began yesterday, the Australian filmed based on the novel by John Marsden. I first read TWTWB when I was back in high school and then again more recently so the details and story are still fresh in my mind.
I think as an adaptation it was done really well. No book is ever going to be perfectly adapted to film, I know that, and yes there were changes, but in all it was really well done and I enjoyed it.
There were small things and big things they changed, but it worked for the movie and the story. The changes didn’t detract from the viewing and I didn’t find myself protesting in outrage. However I was upset that they didn’t have the Hermit from Hell in there at all. He wasn’t even mentioned which I think is a shame because that’s one of the elements of the story I really enjoy, but on the other hand does that really make such an impact on the story if it’s cut out? No I don’t think it does. Yet if they continue on it makes me wonder how they’ll work the story in the next movie without the Hermit.
Another thing they did was not cut out a scene, but merge two which I think would have pissed me off 8-10 years ago when I was aghast at major changes to stories I loved, but on the whole I can see why they did it and that it also worked for the film. Honestly none of the changes left you wondering what was going on like in some adaptations where it can feel disjointed. It was a smooth film and all the elements worked together with it. As for the merging of the scenes; I think perhaps that could have been because of the time limit with movies and maybe even budget (of course I’m just speculating because how could I know that for sure?).
The only problem I had with the merging was what it means for one particular character, but rather then leaving me pissed off, it has made me curious to see how that character develops if they make another film.
I believe some of the changes they made were a great way to relate to a generation today because TWTWB was written in a time before the world seemed to be so technologically crazy and everyone had a mobile phone. Rather then having Ellie relate the story via pen and paper, she used a video camera. They also included certain pop culture that is very relevant today and all had mobile phones, but in the end mobile phones and pop culture isn’t going to help much when your country has been invaded and you’re isolated like that. However the changes to make it more relevant today and relatable to a current generation doesn’t give it a timeless quality which bothers me a small bit.
I really hope they do make another film and continue on with the franchise for several reasons. One being that I think Australia needs a film series for a younger generation because we are being saturated by American and British series. There’s nothing really wrong with that, but it’s still nice to be able to have movies to relate to when it comes to background and environment.
That and I really did enjoy it. There is dark content, but there is also a lot of humour in this movie. The characters are fun and it makes you want to cheer them on and hang out with them (I particularly love Fi, Homer, and Ellie especially because Ellie corrects people’s grammar). I got some laughs out if it and plenty of people were laughing throughout in the cinema. I had also heard the acting was horrid, but I can tell you now that it is way better then a lot of the actors in the Twilight Saga (sorry Twihards – I watch the movies too, I even enjoyed the books, but most of those actors can not act). They were believable and delivered their lines really well. There was even a scene in the movie which is one of my favourites – Ellie and Corrie discussing a book and how books are usually better then the movies.
If you’re a rating lover then for you I rate this a 4/5, otherwise it is an enjoyable movie and I do recommend it.