By Sophie Bennett, Staff Writer
Centered on eccentric character Shaina who is traveling in the year 2015 from 600 years in the future, “Tomorrow Ever After” is in the form of independent light-hearted drama rather than a darker or action film. A concept we have scene many times before, but never quite like this. The film was financed by a crowd-funding site and was spearheaded by Ela Thier who not only stars as main character Shaina, but she also acted as co-writer and director.
In present time Shaina wonders around Manhattan looking for a way to get herself back to her time and comes across character Milton who initially robs Shaina, but ends up reluctantly helping her. With a constant query of questions and obvious frustration of the restrictive rules, Milton is at first annoyed by Shaina, however he learns to love her authentic and honest personality. He is the most complex and interesting part of the film and is the only character put at a crossroads. There were many unique aspects of the film, like the use of Shaina’s “implement” which resembles a small piece of paper somewhat like an iPhone, but more simplistic and futuristic. However Shaina’s personality and dialogue was more annoying and stilted than intriguing and unfortunately Ela Thier’s acting took away from the great parts of this charming film.
During Shaina’s journey she comes across many interesting characters, but unfortunately none get many dimensions or even conclusions to their subplots other than Shaina and Milton. Antonio, a recluse and friend of Milton who lets Shaina stay with him for a night, appeared to be the only person who never really questioned Shaina from the beginning but his story was half-hearted when it could’ve been fantastic. The lackluster array of characters resembled the underwhelming ending to the film. Although Thier’s display of the negativity to our culture was well done it all culminated to a narration that was not only confusing, but also inconsistent with the rest of the message of the film.
Another part of the film that fell short was the cinematography and editing. There was a very bland and basic filmmaking style with almost the same medium shot. There some corny moments from the editing, that felt out of place in a film that obviously was reaching for something greater. The bright color scheme contrasted Shaina’s description of America during 2015 in a way that could’ve been avoided if the cinematographer and editor had made different choices.
Overall it was a film with good intentions and a lot of heart, but flaws that could’ve been fixed. Despite uneven acting abilities there is a great future for Ela Thier as a director, producer and/or writer. If the film had a bigger budget and more opportunities it could’ve been an amazing film, but with limited resources and some poor choices in casting, cinematography, and editing “Tomorrow Ever After” fell short.