Friday, January 30, 2009

Wuthering Heights on PBS, Parts 1-2

Ah, what's not to like about darkness and light, death and love, hate and innocence, revenge and naivety. All are contained in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, one of my favorite books. This however, was not my favorite movie version of this book. In fact, I was quite disappointed in their interpretation this time around. This is not a favorable review.

Most are probably familiar with the story so I will not bore with details here. It is a dark tale, written by a young woman in her twenties, who never married, never even left the house much, yet she was able to contrive one of the darkest villains to ever be inked on paper. Healthcliff. Many debates have been issued forth about his true character. Was he evil to his very core? Or was he simply a product of his environment? Does he redeem himself in the end?

For me the book is about love and power, and what some people will do to get it, to retain it, how to use it against others to your advantage. This particular movie version was about sex, and it made me madder with each passing moment. What was once a story filled with tortured love and revenge, was now a Royal Shakespearean roll in the hay!

The story was done out of sequence, eliminating the first narrator entirely, Mr. Lockwood and a key scene where Catherine breaks through his window. One of the scariest scenes of the book! And then the sex. It can never be simply implied by the BBC by revealing a character to be pregnant. The story had to be modernized. They have to show it. There were no sex scenes in the book. I don't think there is even a kiss between living people in it.

And the ending. They completely changed how Heathcliff died. I immediately turned off the tv. Disgusted.

Why can't they just leave the story intact as it is written? Who gave someone the right to reinvent a classic and still call it Wuthering Heights? I didn't want a modernized story. I wanted the real one, with different actors applying Bronte's thoughts onto the screen.

This version didn't do Emily Bronte any justice. In fact she's probably rolled over in her grave. What a disappointment.


Bryce and Mandy said...

I haven't read the book or seen the movie so I am glad I didn't watch this version since it wasn't a very good one. I have one at my house I have been wanting to watch. I will have to try that one.

I hate it when people change the way stories were originally intended to be read/watched. When they add their "artistic flare" to an already good story. The original story is good enough, why change it?

A few years ago I went to the play "A Christmas Carol" and I as so excited, I love the story. Well, they changed it all and had it be friends getting together at Charles Dicken's house and acting out the story. Needless to say it wasn't very good and I was very disappointed. Why mess with perfection?? :)

I guess they want to be original but what they don't realize is that most enjoy the original stories and all they want to see is that origianl story come to life.

The Bradfords said...

Thanks for the heads up. Now I won't waste my time watching my taped copy! I just can't take it when they change the story! Why? Why? Why?

Amanda said...

I'm afraid that despite my love for classic literature, I really hated Wuthering Heights.

Lula O said...

You're not alone in that judgement. I don't know what it is with me. Perhaps it's in my genetic code. Both my mother and grandmother loved the book. Perhaps I can't help myself.

Danielle and Jason said...

Wuthering Heights is by no means a good story. It is dramatic and painful and dark. BUT: the reason the book is so wonderful is that it is so full of emotion and feeling.
I genuinely hated it the first time I read it. Then I had to read it again for a college english class, along with a few other classics I had previously hated. Reading it when I was a little older with a little more perspective really improved my opinion of it, and now I can genuinely say it is one of my favorites. Another on that list was Heart of Darkness. I have immense respect for that book.

Lula O said...

I agree. My love of Wuthering Heights has increased with age, I think because as I've gotten older I've learned to appreciate the finer intricacies of emotion.

I've never read Heart of Darkness. Considering my tastes, I'd probably like it.