Inspissated gloom

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The latest of what IMDB lists as 15 film or tv versions of Wuthering Heights (which I bought, of course, from a bargain bin):

So how does this version measure up?  Well, there are quite a few heights, an awful lot of wuthering and torrents of rain, reinforced by the buffeting wind and slashing raindrops on my own windows just now.  While the film ran I barely thought of Dave Allen’s sketches or the Monty Python semaphore version (of joyful memory), though this might be because there was hardly any script and the action took place in a Yorkshire which was plunged in perpetual night, so the memory triggers were avoided.  The only moments I found really risible were the intrusions of the Thespian Cough to signal a character’s imminent doom, and a scene of necrophilia with Catherine’s remarkably cheerful-looking corpse.

The rest was pretty fair.  The production team had de-gentrified the social setting, which seemed a sound decision to me, and the characters were brutal, obsessed, perverse, immoral, inconsistent, cruel, unfaithful, passionate and stupid, which is pretty much what Emily Bronte wrote.  And yes, I was gripped.  But although they tried, the film makers still couldn’t match the bleakness of the long, winding, concatenated  tragedy which Emily unfolded in the darkness of her inner sight.

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4 responses »

  1. LOL!! I still need to read the book… I was thinking about watching one of the many adaptations, actually… I used to know someone who said that a book’s only worth reading if it’s been made into a film – and then there’s no point in reading it because you can just watch the film instead 😛

    • Nice provocative line! I’m not hugely fond of the novel, as Emily’s intensity came at the cost of having no sense of humour (as a writer), so I don’t really mind liberties being taken with her text to make a film. So that’s lucky really!

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