My final selection for the Brontë Challenge was Masterpiece Theatre’s loose adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (2009). This film rendition of the tale does away with the narrative quality of the story, reducing Nellie’s part as narratorand forcing the plot into a more linear storyline. There is a lot more romance, and less Gothic drama, which makes the Bronte’s tale of mad passion and revenge seem more mainstream. I found that this version tries to rationalize Heathcliff’s cruel tendencies by emphasizing the rivalry between him and Hindly, and showing glimpses of his happy, free-spirited childhood with Cathy. Tom Hardy does provide a compelling portrayal of Heathcliff, but I find most of the other characters a bit bland. Heathcliff is portrayed as a deranged, though slightly sympathetic character in this version, which is very different from my understanding of his character in the text. The relationship between the second generation of Earnshaws and Lintons is thrust into the background; the three young cousins are present but their part is minimal in the development of the tale.
Overall, not my favorite adaptation of the novel, but not terrible. It has its moments. I gave it a three-star “Liked It” rating on my Netflix queue.
On a side note… This is my 100th post!!!