Wuthering Heights

I’ve broken the rules again this week but I promise that it’s for a good reason. After careful consideration it became apparent that if I wanted to review this book I would have to choose the adaptation that I enjoyed the most, and I’ve seen quite a few.
I first read ‘Wuthering Heights’ just over a year ago and was amazed at how it captured my attention from the first paragraph. Without being too soppy I think the idea of having one soul mate appeals to every female reader, as it’s just one of those books that leaves a lasting impression on you. I’ll keep the book review fairly vague so that I don’t ruin it for those who want to read it after this.
An upper-class Father decides to travel to Liverpool, and returns with an abandoned child to become a part of their family. Due to his questionable background and ‘dark skinned gypsy’ looks, he is rejected by his new ‘brother’, Hindley, but embraced by ‘sister’ Cathy. The boy is called Heathcliff.
Although their childhood years pass with a great deal of internal conflict, mainly caused by Hindley, Heathcliff and Cathy grow up together with a deep understanding of one another. However, during their late teenage years they begin to develop their own lives, which leads Cathy into the arms of Edgar Linton. Heathcliff may be a passionate and strong man but Edgar offers her something he cannot; social standing. This was vitally important to women, and indeed Cathy. As with any tragic piece of writing the potential for love and happiness hangs in the balance. The turmoil that arises from this love triangle is central to the entire book as the consequences of Cathy’s actions reverberate down into future generations.
I’m straying away from a cinematic blockbuster and have instead chosen a TV film, namely the 2009 ITV version. Yes I’ll admit Tom Hardy was what initially attracted me but have faith when I say that there are plenty more reasons to go and watch this. Obviously when you become emotionally attached to a book you have a very personal preconceived idea of how you want every aspect to be portrayed. Luckily, I can say that for me it was flawless from start to finish. There was the occasional omitted bit of detail here and there but that is to be expected with any film adaptation. I was most impressed by the chemistry between the actors, in particular Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley as they made the characters appear isolated but at the same time maintain their humanity, and therefore likability. Set mainly on the Yorkshire Moors, the location is an inherent part of the book and was also utilised to mirror the stormy and turbulent sides of their relationship, which I appreciated. Choosing to flick between different points in their lives also kept the pace up, so the viewer never feels bored. I have yet to see a better adaptation and in my eyes it would be hard to beat, so please go and watch it!


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