Foundling Heathcliff is raised by the wealthy Earnshaws in Yorkshire but in later life launches a vendetta against the family.Foundling Heathcliff is raised by the wealthy Earnshaws in Yorkshire but in later life launches a vendetta against the family.Foundling Heathcliff is raised by the wealthy Earnshaws in Yorkshire but in later life launches a vendetta against the family.
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.
- Nov 25, 2010