A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy. Based on the classic novel by Emily Bronte.
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[PART I] Braving her father Edgar Linton's warning not to cross the estate border, young Catherine discovers her charming, but sickly cousin, and the manly Hareton are the heartlessly scorned and abused sons of wealthy Heatcliff on the Earnshaw estate. This launches a flashback how Heathcliff was raised as Cathy's best friend by her kind father, Mr. Earnshaw. After his death, the son and heir returns from boarding school, married, and reduces Heathcliff to the rank of stable boy, enduring constant abuse in order to remain with Cathy. After an accidental meeting with elegant gentleman Edgar Linton, she falls in love. To Hindley's delight, this drives Heathcliffe away. [PART II] Three years later, he returns wealthy enough to buy the estate, a day after Kathy married Edgar. He takes revenge, which instead of satisfaction brings misery to all. After Kathy and later Edga's death, his scorn includes the next generation, which nevertheless finds each-other striving for nobler values. Written by
This 2009 adaptation of Wuthering Heights appears to be the most popular, at least at the time of this writing. It's not hard to see why: Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley have fabulous chemistry as the ill-fated lovers, and the locations used are just gorgeous. The atmosphere is great with an almost eternally gray sky and lots of desaturated color, making the few rich tones used really pop.
Tom Hardy is easily the best cinematic Heathcliff I've seen to date. He's brooding, passionate, angry, and manipulative. He's a monster, yet also strangely sympathetic. The supporting cast is fantastic. I love Andrew Lincoln as Edgar and the actors who portrayed Cathy II and Hareton were adorable.
Still, there are a few weak points which keep this WH from being great. Charlotte Riley is not a great Catherine, as she plays it too sympathetic. Catherine is selfish and even cruel, and Riley does not come across that way. The writing deserves part of the blame for that as well, giving Catherine some of Nelly's lines about how Heathcliff should not seek vengeance, as that's God's place. Could you see the Catherine of the novel doing such a thing? Also, the structure is confusing, especially for those who've never touched the book. We skip from the middle of the second generation to the first and then back, which is jarring.
This one's popular for a reason. Wuthering Heights fans will likely enjoy it.
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