Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Television Critique 2016  – 07/19/2016: Wuthering Heights

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a TV Show review.
Prologue: Go here.

Stars: 5 / 5
Recommendation: A powerful drama with an edge of insanity, vengeance, love that makes one rethink every decision one makes.

Wuthering Heights is the 2009 2-part TV adaptation of the 1847 novel by Emily Bronte. This books has been adapted into several TV movies, series and films. This is one of the many adaptations which I have watched quite a number of times and liked it. To know why, please read the review below.

I haven't watched any of the adaptations yet, but this is the one of the few that had told the story of two generations of Lintons, Earnshaw and Heathcliff - without omitting anything from the novel.

This novel had created quite a shock and sensation when it came out in 1847 as it was against the ideals of that time with respect to religion, morals, social class and gender equality. First time I read the book, I always wondered who would be the perfect one to portray the role of Heathcliff. I have to say Tom Hardy became Heathcliff when he walked into that role - every bit cruel, dangerous and yet so much in love with only one person in his life (two if we consider Mr. Earnshaw who raised Heathcliff). He has done justice to the role. And so has Charlotte Riley when she becomes Catherine Earnshaw to the core.

The story as everyone knows is a complicated plot with twisted minds of the characters with extreme emotions of love, jealousy and vengeance. So much vengeance that it almost seeps into the second generation. An anti-hero driven by sexual feelings and vengeance. A married woman running around in her night skirts and having trysts with her husband. Such a powerful drama with so much of darkness in it, I always wonder if Emily Bronte was affected by her own book. For there is not a single thing about this book that will not make your heart twitch, and the exact emotions I felt from this TV series too.

The plot however opens differently compared to the book. They show the second generation first - Heraton Earnshaw (Son of Hindley and Frances Earnshaw), Linton Heathcliff (Son of Heathcliff and Isabella Linton) and Cathy Linton (Daughter of Edgar Linton and Catherine "Cathy" Earnshaw) - creating quite a lot of confusion before the actual story begins. Thirty years earlier Heathcliff was brought in as an orphan by Mr. Earnshaw to which Cathy -his daughter - openly accepts while Hindley - his son - despises. The animosity grows between the boys and so does the love between Heathcliff and Cathy. Heathcliff loves Cathy. But once their father dies Hindley takes over the estate along with his pregnant wife Frances and things change considerably leading Heathcliff to be beaten and abused often at Hindley's hands. Cathy starts doubting her love herself, Frances giving birth to a child and dying childbirth, Hindley taking to heavy drinking, Heathcliff finding about the real feelings of Cathy towards him and feeling betrayed in every way, Heathcliff running away from Wuthering Heights and Cathy getting engaged to Edgar. Heathcliff however returns rich on the day of Cathy's wedding, Heathcliff leading into taking revenge against the Earnshaws for all the betrayal they have committed, Heathcliff luring Isabella in order to hurt Catherine and in the end going crazy of losing her permanently.

Powerful dialogues also add to this drama that makes it a better version.

Catherine: How can you smile?
Heathcliff: Cause one day I shall pay back him in pain and anguish.

Heathcliff: [bending over Cathy's coffin] You said I'd killed you... Haunt me then... Be with me always... Take any form, drive me mad but don't leave me. In this abyss where I cannot find you... I cannot live without my life, I cannot live without my soul...

Heathcliff: As Hindley was flogging me, I chanted a curse you know... He has lost the only person who ever loved him.
Cathy: [aghast] You cannot welcome the death of a baby's mother!
Heathcliff: I will welcome anything that makes Hindley suffer.
Cathy: [quietly commands Heathcliff] Say you're sorry for talking like this my love...
Heathcliff: [shrugging] I am not sorry.
Cathy: [sadly] Sometimes I think your true passion is hate rather than love.

A well-made TV series for such a heavy concept and controversy tied around it. I have to watch the other ones too to see how they turned out. If you have not watched this yet, do look on Youtube for the series. It's worth the watch.

Spoiler Alerts:
1) Some of the famed adaptation of the novel are below. Certainly adding to my collection of posts to blog about. ;)
a. First adaptation of this novel was filmed in England in 1920.
b. The most famous however was the 1939 Wuthering Heights starring Lawrence Oliver and Merle Oberon.
c. In 1970 film Timothy Dalton portrayed the role of Heathcliff.
d. In 1978 BBC adapted the novel into a five-part TV series Ken Hutchinson, Kay Adshead and John Duttine.
e. In 1992 film Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche played the lead roles of Heathcliff and Catherine.
f. In 1996 the Indian Hindi film Dil Diya Dard Liya was made as an adaptation from the novel. Although it did not fare well.
Tags: critique by amateur, reviews, tv shows

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