4 June 2013

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights 2010
  • Director: Andrea Arnold
  • Based on novel by Emily Brontë
  • Cast: James Howson, Solomon Glave, Shannon Beer, Kaya Scodelario, Steve Evets, James Northcote, Nichola Burley
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Kaya Scodelario  Moon
    • Steve Evets – Pirates of the Caribbean, Robin Hood, Brighton Rock
  • Why bought: A favorite book; have read it four or five times
  • Seen: April 7, 2013, with Hal and YW (read-book-watch-movie)

There certainly was a lot of discussion after this one.    Throughout the movie we sat more or less stunned the whole time.  What? What is this? Where is the passion?
The question remains. And the question: Is this really Wuthering Heights?
Well, kind of.  But it’s very…different.  It’s low-key, quiet, contemplative. And muddy.  I’ve never seen so much mud in a movie.  Very realistic.
But “low-key”, “quiet”, “contemplative” and “realistic” are hardly words one connects to this the most romantic and dramatic of all gothic classics.  Where is the bitterness? Where are the tortured cries of anguish?
Yes, Heathcliff sobs enough to break your heart when Cathy dies and is handsome enough to make any heart throb a bit. He’s dignified, collected, quick to fight back, but he’s not savage, volcanic or cruel like he is in the book. And Cathy’s not manipulative, greedy or wild, like she is in the book.
So is the movie totally wrong?  Not really.  It’s very daring. The changes made to increase the role of racism in the treatment of an Afro Heathcliff are changes of degree rather than essence and work very well with the spirit of the novel.  It’s a pity the movie stopped before Cathy Junior and the other second generation kids grew up but that’s OK too.
Once again it’s a case of the book is the book and the movie is the movie. As a movie a major problem is that much of it is so dark it’s impossible to see what we’re looking at. And there was - dare I say it? – too much nature.
But a gripping movie and well acted by an essentially unknown cast.  I want to see it again.

3 ½ * of 5

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