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Review: Wuthering Heights (2009)

Director: Cokey Giedroyc | 142 minutes | drama, romance | Actors: Tom Hardy, Charlotte Riley, Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Lancashire, Burn Gorman, Rosalind Halstead, Rebecca Night, Tom Payne, Andrew Hawley, Kevin McNally, Des McAleer, Shaughan Seymour, Sia Berkeley, James Harper,

A nightmare to film, as the book “Wuthering Heights” is known to filmmakers. Emily Brontë’s book owes this reputation to its complicated story structure. Nevertheless, director Coky Giedroyc saw the opportunity to convert Brontë’s well-known narrative into a two-part miniseries. Giedroyc has been puzzling about the chronology of the novel and has given his own twist. Thus “Wuthering Heights” begins with the young generation. We see how angry Catherine (Rebecca Night) is with her father Edgar Linton (Andrew Lincoln) that cousin Linton (Tom Payne) is suddenly sent away to an unknown destination.

Shortly afterwards, Catherine will celebrate her eighteenth birthday. Housekeeper Nelly gives her a book that belonged to her mother Cathy (Charlotte Riley). The same day Catherine goes for a stroll in the bare heathlands with Nelly in her wake. There she meets Heathcliff (Tom Hardy) and accepts his invitation to visit Cousin Linton. Director Giedroyc looks back after this short flash forward, after which you delve into the history of Cathy and Heathcliff. After a visit to Liverpool, Mr. Earnshaw’s home on his Wuthering Heights estate. But the master of the house does not return alone; he arrives with the boy Heathcliff. Mr. Earnshaw has found Heathcliff on the street and wants to take him into his family. Earnshaw’s children Hindley and Cathy have to get used to the fact that they now have a stepbrother. Especially from Hindley Heathcliff has a hard time. He sees Heathcliff as an intruder. Fortunately, Heathcliff can count on the support of stepfather Earnshaw and stepsister Cathy. But Hindley’s dislike has profound implications for Heathcliff and Cathy …

For those who have seen an adaptation of “Wuthering Heights” before, or simply love the book, this 2009 edition is a must. This is thanks to the strong performances by Charlotte Riley (“Easy Virtue”) and Tom Hardy (“Inception”). They manage to faithfully depict the penetrating love of Cathy and Heathcliff. Brontë’s story remains gloomy, but their game makes it worth struggling through. knows how to play the complex character of Heathcliff in a non-caricatural way. The actor just doesn’t seem to have a problem with Heathcliff’s two completely different faces. It’s a good thing Hardy’s looks can’t literally kill… In addition, Hardy also makes good use of a certain voice intonation when he verbally goes against someone.

Co-star manages to make Cathy’s transformation from a tomboy to a tidier lady credible. Riley also beautifully portrays Cathy’s dark shadow side. Heathcliff’s visit to the Lintons’ home where he stirs up Cathy’s jealousy by suggesting that he is interested in Isabella Linton (Rosalind Halstead) is an excellent example of this. This mini-series is pleasing to the eye in everything; the cast and cinematography are perfectly fine. The austere soundtrack – mainly drum sounds – is also worth mentioning. This dark undertone ensures that the is further enhanced. Anyone who wants to spend an evening with Emily Brontë’s age-old story about the lovers Cathy Earnshaw and Heathcliff, can have fun with this mini-series. Passion pops off the screen; both in the field of love and hate …

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