Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wuthering Heights (2009)

I must confess that's it's been a while since I've read Wuthering Heights and that I probably should have reread it before watching this series but I was so looking forward to watch this that I just jumped ahead and decided that I'll reread later.

Story wise I thought that all the important points were covered and that the atmosphere was very close to what I thought of the book. I didn't much like Heathcliff and Cathy when I first read about them and I continued not liking them in this adaptation. However, I did read the book in my teens so one of the reasons why I've been meaning to reread it is to see if my opinion about them has changed. The darkness of some scenes, the landscapes, all contributes to portray some of the wildness in Heathcliff and Cathy's relationship and one thing I really liked was that it started with the second generation. I really liked the younger Catherine and how she stood up to Heathcliff.

Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley, who play Heatcliff and Cathy, were a good surprise. Hardy steals every scene he is in. There's a tension about him that makes him the center of attention. Riley has a sort of raw, angular beauty that makes it easy to believe her capable of great passion both in love and hate.

There isn't as much mention of the supernatural aspects of the story. Instead we are treated to a more sexualised version of the Edgar / Cathy and Isabella / Heathcliff relationships. Both their weddings nights were revealing in their behaviours and more aptly show their desperation than a less physical scene could but this is, without a doubt one of the biggest changes from the novel. It also didn't really feel as gothic as I think the story is supposed to be. I think the second half of the series also suffers from seeming a bit too rushed. I was disappointed that Hareton and the younger Catherine had so little time together and the end was too abrupt; I don't seem to recall Heathcliff ending that way.

Overall I found this to be a very good adaptation in terms of what was the original feel of Wuthering Heights, a sad story of boiling passions that end in tragedy. A detailed comparison will have to wait until I reread the book but I'm quite happy to have spent an afternoon watching this. I'm now curious about watching other adaptations; does anyone have a favourite to suggest?


  1. Haven't seen this one yet but the sexualised parts you mentioned kind of scare me now. You have to watch the 1992 version with Ralph Fiennes! ;-)

  2. I saw this adaptation and I wasn't that impressed I must say. I didn't mind it. The sexualized scenes are something one has to expect from a product meant for an americanized audience - if you know what I mean.
    WH is not my favourite Bronte's novel. I love Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall the best and I also liked its adaptation very much. Jane Eyre is also a novel I like better than WH. Emily's masterpiece is indeed a terrible story, gloomy and with no hope for the main characters. Extremely well written though.
    Have a great weekend!

  3. I really want to watch this, even if I'm not a big fan of Wuthering Heights... I'm like Maria Grazia and I prefer The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Jane Eyre.

    About the sex scenes, after the success of The Tudors I'm not surprised...

  4. Hi all,

    Yes, everything has to be sexed up nowadays doesn't it? Sometimes I wish they would leave things as they were thought by the author although it didn't bother me all that much here.

    **writing down that I should watch the 1992 version** ;-)


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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