I had high hopes for this one, Andrea Arnold is one of the most inventive directors around and I was keen to see how she would bring a contemporary edge to the classic tale of love on t’ moors. But I hated it. Really hated it. Firstly, I’m well over jerky cam, it just makes me feel a bit seasick. Secondly, the shots of beetles climbing through the grass etc etc really got on my tits and it felt like they were getting in the way of telling what should be a rollicking good tale. I know they are on the moors, Kate Bush mentioned it once or twice. And thirdly, I know I am being a bit squeamish, but there was way too much animal slaughter for my liking. We can see Heathcliff is a bit of a bad ‘un without seeing him break the neck of a rabbit thank you. And as for hanging all those dogs… enough.
I didn’t feel the passion between Cathy and Heathcliff, which should be the whole cut and thrust of Wuthering Heights – some poor acting and a total lack of chemistry between any of the actors really let this down although not to be entirely negative, the two young leads do have some potential. It gets even worse when the cast changes, and the adult versions seemed to have even less chemistry than the young ones – it feels like you’ve jumped into a totally different story. It’s also fair to note that Heathcliff seemed to do a reverse Michael Jackson, getting darker, growing an afro and a wider nose as he aged.
Such a shame, as the costume drama is ripe for some reinvention, but to be honest if I hadn’t been sitting right by the Heathcliffs I wouldn’t have stayed to the end. Lets hope it’s just a blip on the radar for Arnold, and there’s another Fish Tank on its way.