superb literary adaptation but not for everyone
16 November 2011
I can't add much to reviewer Richard Wilkins excellent user review on this site. However Heathcliff is clearly coded as an ex slave. There's a scene early on when scars are visible on his back as well as a brand mark on his shoulder. My own personal reading of this Wuthering Heights is as an existential piece. The moors which surround the cottage are the one space where Cathy and Heathcliff are able to experience joy, amidst the natural landscape. The world of people, conveyed in the claustrophobic cottage which is filmed with lots of close ups, by contrast is one of casual cruelty, nasty and brutish. The film highlights the indifference of nature and how utterly alone we are in the universe. It questions how 'civilised' our civilisations really are by making Heathcliff an ex slave. This is a thinking persons Wuthering Heights, there's layers of meaning beneath the surface as befits one of the best loved novels of the English language. The cinematography is just superb and incredibly visceral, lighting is amazing, with shots by candlelight and darkness, things half glimpsed. You really feel as if you are in the eighteenth or nineteenth century. If you want a fluffy literary adaptation with a clear storyline this is not for you. If you re prepared to work and take the time this is a real treat. Historical cinema with attitude.
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