Sunday, September 5, 2010

film : tomorrow, when the war began

You know what? I really liked it!


Sure, Fi was totally wrong - in that instead of being a sweet, naive, wholesome "private schoolgirl"-esque character she was...kinda trashy...but her character arc was nice and she did have some funny moments.

...and when one of the characters ate Vegemite out of the jar with a spoon i thought - oh dear, those poor foreigners will be even more confused about Vegemite. That's not cricket.

...and they filmed it in New South Wales so Hell and surrounds looked completely wrong too. John Marsden set the books in the Victorian Alpine region, specifically around the Terrible Hollow (aka Hell), the Devil's Staircase (Satan's Steps) and the Crosscut Saw (Tailor's Stitch), which is near Mt Howitt and Macalister Springs. Beautiful country.

This* is how it really looks:


I was happily surprised with Caitlin Stasey as Ellie (even though Ellie would never have worn such short shorts in the bush!) and Deniz Akdeniz was brilliant as Homer. Ashleigh Cummings, although I was unsure to begin with, portrayed the incredible character of Robyn with the perfect balance of fragility and strength (although I always imagined Robyn a bit older, practical, the ferocious netballer). That scene at the end (no, not the very end, but the bit just before they blow up the bridge) which was a departure from the book, but very well done, was so moving - mostly, I believe, due to Cummings' performance.

As a big-budget film I think it works. The explosions were great, the action acting pretty good. The comic moments were great too, with a special mention to the conversation between Ellie and Corrie during which they conclude that books are always superior to their films. Cute touch.

With a couple of moments of creative licence the plot sticks to the orginal story - enough that I was anticipating the next scene, thinking 'oh yes, now they go back to Corrie's...' I was disappointed that they dropped the Hermit storyline, although I understand that not everything can be included in a film that can be in a novel.

Ultimately, it all felt so wonderfully familiar. It was like finally meeting old friends (pen pals, perhaps).

I'm so glad the movie wasn't awful. Now bring on The Dead of the Night.

*I took these photos in 1997. The place may look different now, but I don't think so.


  1. Nice summary!

    I'm seeing it on Thursday and I can't wait! :D

  2. I agree, this was actually a good movie.

    I was also thinking the same about the vegemite scene. Poor, poor foreigners. They already think the stuff tastes like chocolate, so what are they going to think now?

  3. Can anyone go to where "Hell" was filmed?

  4. yeah you can. it's in the victorian alpine region national park and have to carry in your own food and water and be prepared to hike a bit, but it's pretty easy.

  5. I went to the Melbourne Premiere. Met John Marsden and some of the actors. Great movie. Loved the bit with Robyn before the bridge. I think the swing behind her represents her innocence.


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