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Yes, I have seen several versions of Wuthering Heights, the 1939 version holding a special place in my heart. But this adaptation caught me from the opening credits and did not let go long after it ended. This is not your grandma's Wuthering Heights, let's put it that way. It's dark, deadly, and haunting. Much credit for the success of this version goes to Tom Hardy as Heathcliff. Hardy's range as an actor gives new depth to Bronte's anti-hero. You see what a great man he could have become if not for Hindley's torturous treatment of him and Cathy's snobbish refusals. The scenes with Heathcliff and Cathy as young lovers are beautiful and true -- the chemistry between these two actors is scorching. But once Heathcliff turns down the road of cruelty and revenge, it's a slippery slope. Hardy's deep voice and stealth mannerisms give you the impression of a tiger waiting to strike. What I really liked in this version was Charlotte Riley's portrayal of Cathy. She isn't a tantrum-throwing caricature. She gives Cathy a likable earthiness that we can identify with even as she makes dreadful choices. The score, the cinematography, the secondary characters, everything is perfect. It may not be for everyone, but this adaptation is one that does the novel justice.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a confessed middle aged Wuthering Heights tragic- have studied the book at at University level, read it many times and seen all of the major movie and TV versions- I consider this film version to be the best I have seen. Though it departs from the plot a number of times it still comes closest to the the themes and tone of Emily Bronte's work. The cast was excellent - especially Tom Hardy who was brilliant and really "nailed" Heathcliff , for me at least. The only reason for not giving it 9 or 10 stars is the curious omission of most of the powerful dialog from Cathy's death scene. They seem to have taken all of the angst out and just left the tender aspects. That being said - they have retained much of Emily Brontes brilliant language. I am in fact, bemused by some commentary that very little dialog from the book was included - I even read the book again straight after watching the movie and can confirm that this is just not a valid criticism. Much of the books dialog was included unchanged - though in some instances spoken by Cathy or Heathcliff instead of Nelly - and a good deal of the narration was reworked very effectively as dialog.
I loved this version. Tom Hardy is a genius, and his Heathcliff has stayed with me long after the film finished. Charlotte Riley is also very good, as are the other cast members. I've read the comments about Heathcliff and Cathy having sex, and this being a diversion from the original book, however, Emily Bronte makes it clear in her text that Heathcliff and Cathy spend many unsupervised hours on the moors together. This in itself was shocking in the days when every unmarried young lady required a chaperone, but I think Emily was leaving it up to us, the readers, to decide what Heathcliff and Cathy did with their time together. I think the interpretation in this film is a valid one. Tom Hardy's musings at the end, on his life, and on the possible futility of his revenge were very convincing and haunting. This is a film you won't forget in a hurry.
It is true that this particular version (one of many) is a modernized. Many details are changed from or added to the original book. This is a source of criticism from the fans. However, when a movie adaptation is made from a literary original changes has to be made so that the communication, especially between the characters' inner lives and the audience, works. I liked this version immensely. I never did get so close to actually understanding the characters (via a movie) as I did while watching this. I also love Tom Hardy's portrait of Heathcliff. It's scary and just a little bit attractive (a form of attraction which makes you uneasy rather than giggly though), which trumps earlier versions when he's portrayed more like a tall dark stranger-type (the ones I have seen are from 1939 and 1992). I like that Cathy isn't portrayed like such a flaky thing but rather a wild child and as much in bondage as Heathcliff. I always figured the story was supposed to be understood and related to. And how else to do so than through romantic tale? The book is about the horrors of love and so is this movie.
The original 1939 classic movie of Wuthering Heights, with Olivier and
Oberon, is excellent for its time. However, this version only depicts
the basic plot. Newer versions are more elaborate.
This story centers on Heathcliff and is about deep love between Heathcliff and Cathy, love lost, Heathcliff's bitter and deep anger over this, Heathcliff's blame for the love loss on the Cathy as well as on class exclusion, and revenge toward all those involved in the lost love. An essential element is for the movie to depict Heathcliff's bitterness and immense vengeful anger. Now in order for the immense anger to be explained, the prior deep love between Heathcliff and Cathy must be fully depicted.
I think the 1992 and 2009 movie versions are the best. Both are excellent but both are flawed.
The 1992 version with Ralph Fiennes is better organized and time-sequenced. This version emphasizes the bitterness, anger and vengefulness of the main character, Heathcliff, as superbly depicted by Fiennes. The flaw is that the early love between Cathy and Heathcliff is shown in a skimpy and summary manner. This is a flaw since this deep love needs a full and detailed portrayal in order to explain Heathcliff's later deep bitterness. As a result Fiennes' Heathcliff is a terrible fellow whose behavior is somewhat inexcusable.
The 2009 version with Tom Hardy is slightly convoluted, and lightens Heathcliff's vengefulness (making Heathcliff more of sympathetic character to the viewer), which is a flaw compared to the 1992 Fiennes version that properly displays Heathcliff's revenge. However, the 2009 Hardy version does portray the early love between Heathcliff and Cathy with due elaboration (which is lacking in the 1992 version). As a result Heathcliff is more of a tragic figure than a villain.
An ideal version would be the 1992 Fiennes version, with the deep vengeful anger as Fiennes displayed, but that also fully depicted the love as did the 2009 Hardy version.
Both the Hardy 2009 version and the Fiennes 1992 version are excellent but I prefer the 1992 version as the best available.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The only saving grace of this movie was Tom Hardy as Heathcliff. He
truly captured the Heathcliff of Bronte's novel--not some sort of
rehashed Mills and Boon archetype. Hardy could express so much emotion
just with his eyes and the tone of his voice. He did not have to resort
to the exaggerated declamatory style of the 1930's. I only wish that he
could have been given more of Bronte's original prose to speak.
However to be fair, the other two good things that i have to credit the show with, is firstly;
a) the beautiful cinematography and the moody atmosphere that echoes Bronte's text. The gardens and the moors were delightful to take in;
and b) the chemistry between the doomed Cathy and Heathcliff. It was done with real passion and sincerity--it did not seemed forced or trite. Their love was infused with just the right amount of passion, selfishness, violence and obsession, which was electrifying to see on screen.
But unfortunately, the positives are outweighed by some serious flaws:
SPOILERS mentioned BELOW--read at your own risk
* * * * *
Why on earth did the scriptwriters have to change the ending by having Heathcliff blow his brains out? Not to mention having Cathy and him making out on the moors just after he gets whipped by Hindley. I get the symbolism of course: the blood on his back as he's making love to Cathy is supposed to represent the violence and extreme passion that exists between the couple--but really, do we have to be subjected to a blatant rewriting in order to sex it up for modern tastes?
The other thing that cheesed me off was the fact that the writers cut short Cathy's dying scene and left out some of the most beautiful lines in the book, yet they spent a long time on a gravely self righteous Linton disowning his sister. Cathy's dying scene is one of my favourite scenes and it comes and goes like a whisper on the show! Lastly, the finale with Cathy and Heathcliff looking out from behind the window--what is that? Their spirits are not to be trapped inside a house, but instead they are supposed to be free upon the moors--in the book, Lockwood swears he sees a ghostly apparition on the moors.
Ultimately, this is a production that has so much promise with the powerful resonance of Bronte's words, the calibre of actors on it, scenery and music, but squanders it on cheap re- writes in order to 'sex it up', which is a real shame.
A big fan of Masterpiece Theater and of classic novels, I was excited to find out there was a new adaptation of Wuthering Heights. I actually bought this on Amazon without having ever seen it, and after viewing it, I am so happy that I bought it. The film does a great job of showing the passion between Heathcliff and Cathy, and Tom Hardy in the role of Heathcliff is a perfect blend of swoon worthy and terrifying. My only complaint is that Part Two doesn't have the same pop as Part One; it's a little bit shorter, and feels more rushed. But overall, this is a wonderful adaptation that I would definitely recommend to all classical lovers.
This Version of Wuthering Heights is gritty and very up to date. Tom
Hardy plays most of his characters, almost always, in a very
unsympathetic way, yet his likability is always there. Hardy plays his
characters with a lot of truth and if he does show any vulnerability
within his characters(where we as the audience show sympathy towards
him), it's always just for a moment, but there's never anything cliché
about his performances and that's what makes him one of the best actors
out there today as well as what makes this version of Wuthering Heights
a great movie. That and also the beautiful Charlotte Riley, Riley and
Hardy's chemistry is spot on(which doesn't surprise me that they are
engaged in real life, their chemistry is amazing in this movie).
This version of Wuthering Heights shows in the greatest way of any movie I've ever seen how people can love one another and hate one another to the most highest extremes, being connected at the 'soul' so to say(Although, the hate is really more of a cover up for extreme pain inside, relating to this movie at least).
Very relatable in the sense where it shows how miserable we can make our lives when we don't let things go and we don't forgive where, at the source of it all, we're ultimately lying to ourselves about our true feelings, as is the case in this film.
Not an easy movie to watch in the sense that the chemistry is so good, that it pains you, as the movie viewer, to see the ultimate outcome, but nonetheless a great movie and one to see for Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley fans.
True, it doesn't always follow the overall structure of the novel by Emily Bronte, and there are one or two slow moments. But it is beautifully done, and does a competent job of adapting a truly complicated book to screen. I don't think it is the best adaptation of the book, but it definitely not the worst. The adaptation was lovingly designed with stunning locations and exquisite costumes, and the photography was excellent. The performances were excellent, the two leads Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley were both superb as Heathcliff and Cathy, and Andrew Lincoln and Sarah Lancashire give able support. The scriptwriter Peter Bowker, who wrote the script for the wonderful BBC drama Occupation, does a good job with the dialogue, which was in general well written and well crafted. All in all, as an adaptation it is beautifully done, not always faithful to the novel, but the performances and the visual design compensates. 8/10 Bethany Cox
... because it remembered some ideas in the book that touched me (ideas like .. humanity sometimes gives birth to inhumane, a selfish, fanatic love can produce misery etc.). i'm having a feeling of compassion for those who will watch this without having read the book first, because the poor souls won't understand what the story is really about. i absolutely dislike the way heathcliff was portrayed (and not only in this version, i never saw a wuthering heights movie in which heathcliff is heathcliff, as i imagine him in the book) and don't entirely agree with the actor chosen.. don't know why, it's something about his face, he's too beautiful and soft, the heathcliff i always imagined is much rougher and less macho. even if the guy does his best (and i must say he has a great voice, especially at the end of the movie or whenever he is playing the old heathcliff), it's just not enough. cathy is, like someone in another comment perfectly described the cathy in this movie, like a teenage girl swept of her feet by a handsome boy, she doesn't fight him enough, she doesn't seem to be able to match him. the cathy in the book was able to make heathcliff stop whatever he was doing and knee in front of her, here the roles seem to have changed, she's like an obeying wife who does whatever her husband tells her to do. she doesn't seem to have a will of her own, she just follows him. and that's wrong, in the book they were both equally stubborn and strong-willed. overall, i'll give this movie a 6, but just because, like i said before, it reminded me about the book, which i'll start to read in about... 1 minute or so..
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