Feb 9, 2009

Movie Review: Wuthering Heights a Masterpiece Classic

This is my first Monday Movie Review, which is sponsored by Sheri at A Novel Menagerie.

Movie: Wuthering Heights

Starring: Tom Hardy as Heathcliff
Charlotte Riley as Catherine Earnshaw

Genre: Romance, Drama, Classic

The movie version of Emily Bronte's classic Wuthering Heights may confuse viewers who recently read the book or have the book committed to memory. I distinctly remember the narrator, Lockwood, in the book, and was rightly confused when the movie began at the ending of the book when Heathcliff attempts to force Catherine Linton (Edgar Linton and Catherine Earnshaw's daughter) to marry Linton (Healthcliff and Isabella Linton's son).

**Flashback**

Unlike the book, Heathcliff has a softer side, which only turns darker when Catherine's brother, Hindley, takes over the estate after the death of Mr. Earnshaw. Hindley was vicious to Heathcliff as a child when his father brought the gypsy home. Rumors circulate that Heathcliff is Mr. Earnshaw's illegitimate son, and Hindley wants to restore his family's reputation. The relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff grows exponentially from when they were children, and through a sped up storyline and camera effects, their adult-like relationship and wild demeanors are revealed--romping on the moors, becoming intimate, and continuing to engage in childish pursuits of spying on the neighboring Lintons.

What's missing from this movie adaption is the searing hatred Heathcliff exudes on his fellow man and particularly on Hindley. Eventually this hatred and darkness also descends on Catherine after she marries Edgar Linton. More than just Heathcliff's edges are softened in this adaption. He's kinder to Isabella, Catherine, and the subsequent children. Heathcliff's ending is much more sedate than the downward spiral in the novel. Catherine also is a much softer, more lovable character in this adaption. She could be just as harsh as Healthcliff at times. The ending also is more hopeful.

Staying true to the novel may not have been the aim of this movie adaption. I'll rate it 3 out of 5 bags of popcorn because the actors were well selected, the storyline was gripping, and the scenes were gorgeous.




Also Reviewed By:


Book-A-Rama
Age 30+ . . . A Lifetime of Books


***In Other News***

Check out Jess McCann, Author of You Lost Him at Hello (my review), on Good Morning America, Feb. 13! On Jess's Website you can watch her recent appearance on Fox Morning News!

20 comments:

Heather J. said...

You already know my thoughts on this one – despite all the flaws (and there are many!) this is a really good film (just not a good adaptation of the book). :)

Serena said...

Heather, I concur! I saved your post until after I had a chance to watch it from the DVR.

Toni said...

ssshhh...don't tell anyone.. I haven't seen the movie or read the book..... goodness what is wrong with me. Great Review. I want to read it now and see the movie.

ANovelMenagerie said...

I updated my post to include your review. Thanks so much!

Sheri

Serena said...

Toni: get to it.

Sheri: Thanks.

Keri Mikulski said...

One of my fave books of all time. :) Thanks for the movie review.

Serena said...

Keri: Thanks for stopping by the movie review.

naida said...

great review serena, I love WH the book and I thought the film version was good. The BBC one.
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

bkclubcare said...

I haven't seen the film(s) - and it's a great idea! Thank you, C

Serena said...

naida: I love the book as well.

Care: this is the only film that I've seen of this book.

Jenners said...

Love this review -- especially comparing the book and the movie so closely! Any reader worth their salt would do the same. Enjoyed this -- and love the ranking system!

Serena said...

Jenners: I borrowed the ranking system from Sher at Novel Menagerie...she's a genius. I really liked the movie on its own, but in comparison to the book it fell short.

Anna said...

I'll always prefer the Olivier movie. As for whether it's true to the book or not, I can't say. I own the book but haven't read it yet.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

Anna: I vaguely remember the olivier movie. I will have to rewatch it to see how true it is to the book. I saved this masterpiece version on the DVR if you are interested. They also may be replaying it...check out masterpiece!

Ladytink_534 said...

I haven't seen this, nor have I read it actually either. :(

Serena said...

I found about it on some other blogs and waited for it to repeat on masterpiece so I could tape it and check it out.

Shana said...

Hmmmmmm ... maybe I should read the book first! It sounds like an interesting movie!

Shana
Literarily

Serena said...

Shana: I recommend reading the book.

Jeanne said...

Have you seen the newer one, with Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff? It was a little disconcerting to me, because I kept seeing Voldemort when Heathcliff would get an expression of anguish!

Serena said...

Jeanne: I have not seen the newer version of Wuthering Heights, and I think I too would be disturbed by the anguish of Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff. I've only seen the Larry Olivier version other than this Masterpiece Classic.