Liam Madden’s Film Reviews: Wuthering Heights

Liam reviews Wuthering Heights available on DVD at Ventnor Library

We always welcome a review to share with readers, if you have seen a film, read a book or been to a music gig recently and would like to share your review, get in touch. Guest reviews do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publication. Ed

Emily Bronte’s total and complete classic novel of ‘Wuthering Heights’ is undoubtedly one of the finest works of English literature ever written.

Ironic then that there has not ever been a satisfying version filmed of the great work. Yet there seem to be more versions than Bond films when totalled up across the decades.

Beautifully filmed
The release of ‘Wuthering Heights’ through the usually incredibly cool distributors of Artificial Eye begs to be believed as a modern interpretation and in being observed as unusual could be argued as gritty for sure.

It is beautifully filmed and perhaps observes despondency and the abject poverty of the novel, but it loses massive merit by having vaguely very little to do with the story at all.

Seriously bleak and extremely inspiring
At first, this could be seen as radical, or even elemental, as Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian points towards in his review, but man, it is seriously bleak and extremely inspiring if you were to consider that so little dialogue and purpose, or even screenplay, has made it into the finished work. It defies belief, as to its marketing, as anything to do with ‘Wuthering Heights’ at all.

Massive artistic licence
As to be so deceptive under whatever guise Andrea Arnold directs is not the issue. It is however, a film made with massive artistic licence.

The question remains throughout why, with so little to do with Emily Bronte’s novel, has the title even been used?

Sure, it is gritty and undoubtedly not a comedy in any form and yet to pick holes in such a remarkably filmed piece of work is perhaps to miss the point. There are some remarkable transformations through modern interpretations.

Too far removed from the original
Yet this version seems to be primitive and so bleak beyond even Bronte’s original work, that it is surprisingly difficult to deal with and too far removed from the details of what is ‘Wuthering Heights’.

Andrea Arnold and Olivia Hetreed have written a screenplay based on ‘Wuthering Heights’ when realistically the film is akin to hearing someone recount a drunken interpretation and get nearly every element incorrect. Therefore the film should have their names at least in the title rather than being based on Emily Bronte’s work.

If you as an audience do not mind such a glaring fact, then you should get a dictionary out and seek out the word ‘based’. With such an interpretation it could be argued that ‘The Magic Roundabout’ was ‘based’ on ‘Wuthering Heights’ for example.

A poor suggestion,
although a beautifully filmed one

So slim is the version that it could be interpreted as artistic when it seems more likely to be a very poor suggestion, although a beautifully filmed one.

It is stark and extremely well filmed in a rather uniquely rough manner, but if any dialogue had been written or used from the original text, then it would have been an incredible film.

Instead it merely passes through as questionable but filmed professionally and in such a manner that could have been academy award material. It purpose seems to be slightly political and for that it also works, but to be honest, it is ‘an emperor’s clothes’ kind of film and seems to be from so far left-field that it loses out massively. A total shame for the effort of film-making.

See Liam’s other film reviews

Friday, 7th December, 2012 10:01am



Filed under: Film Reviews

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