Film Review: Wuthering Heights

| 11 October , 2012 | 1 Reply

Directed by: Andrea Arnold
Starring: Shannon Beer, James Howson, Solomon Glave, Paul Hilton
Sassi’s Star Rating: 2.5/5

Emily Brontë’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights, returns to the screen in director Andrea Arnold’s raw adaptation. The film unfolds from the eyes of Heathcliff, a boy found abandoned in Liverpool. He joins the Earnshaw family in their isolated manor called Wuthering Heights, where he and Catherine Earnshaw form a strong relationship.

Catherine is headstrong and wild, leading Heathcliff to isolated parts of the moors, much to the disapproval of her family. When circumstance brings the two across the home of the wealthy Linton’s, Catherine sheds her wild persona to seek a more refined life. As society begins to divide them, Heathcliff’s refusal to leave Catherine consumes him.

It’s a bitter tale of doomed love. The film is unflinching when showing the brutality of the story. While the acting is impressive, especially by young Shannon Beer, the cinematography is too jarring. There are many stunning shots with gorgeous natural lighting and beautifully framed images, the problem is they don’t stand still. Shaky, handheld cameras are used for the majority of the film, making you wonder if the director decided to use a toddler instead of a dolly.

There is no soundtrack, just the stark wind of the moors to bring the bleak feel of the land on screen, and it does this very well. You feel the desperate isolation and harshness of the landscape, echoed by the frequent violence from the characters. The film is over two hours, and while there were many poignant shots, we couldn’t help wondering if they all had to be there.

If you’re a bit squeamish and don’t like dark films this is not the flick for you. But if you want a haunting adaptation of Brontë’s classic, then head to the theaters.

Watch the trailer below to whet your appetite:

Follow obsession into the moors of Yorkshire in Wuthering Heights, in cinemas now.


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