Not just the most faithful adaptation of Wuthering Heights, but in the top 3 best versions of it
It's not entirely flawless. The beginning did seem a little too awkwardly staged and acted and there are some strange camera angles here and there. Richard Kay's Lockwood did very little for me too, the character's appearance is brief here but Kay's performance failed to register. However as an adaptation of one of literature's classics(but also one of the most difficult to adapt) there isn't a closer adaptation of Wuthering Heights available, in detail and spirit it's incredibly faithful and has the long length and deliberate pacing of the book just right. Standing on its own, apart from some imperfections in the early parts it's really good and is in the top 3 best versions(not sure how many people are going to agree with this) along with the Olivier and Robert Cavanagh versions, and I've seen almost all of them. None of the adaptations of Wuthering Heights are bad though, even my least favourite the 2011 version. Most of the camera work is fine once the adaptation finds its feet and generally it is a very atmosphere adaptation visually. The dark interiors and evocative scenery really set the tone of the story really well, and you can feel the atmosphere of the period too. The costume design is well done as well. The music score is haunting and not too intrusive, though the Cavanagh, Timothy Dalton(especially this one actually) and Ralph Fiennes adaptations have better and fitting scores. The script is literate and thought-provoking with a lot of Emily Bronte's prose and with its passion and feel too, it was great to spot the great iconic lines. The story is even with the length and pacing very compelling, because of how faithful it is- from memory it's the only adaptation to have the complete story- it feels coherent and complete instead of jumping about like the Dalton and Fiennes adaptations did. The chemistry between Heathcliff and Cathy is passionate and the intensely dark and emotionally harrowing nature of the book is here. The acting is not bad at all and while theatrical in places it doesn't jar too much. Pat Heywood gives the adaptation's most consistent performance, and it's a great one, though David Wilkinson is a charming Hareton and John Duttine relishes the tormenter side to Hindley's character but shows the tormented side quite well. David Robb is affecting as the meek Edgar, Isabella Linton is very nicely played too and Brian Wilde is always good value. Ken Hutchison is not my favourite Heathcliff(top honours go to Dalton) but is suitably menacing and pained, and Kay Adshead has a charm to her but doesn't underplay Cathy's spitefulness and such. Overall, in many ways a winner of an adaptation and while not perfect it satisfies on its own merits too. Yes it does have a bit of a slow start but picks up quickly so stick with it. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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