Wuthering Heights Part II

Watching an adaptation of a book one knows well is strangely compelling: although obviously I knew what was going to happen (in the novel, at least) I was really looking forward to seeing how certain parts of the novel were treated by the screenplay. Generally, it didn’t disappoint. I think Tom Hardy has proved to be an excellent Heathcliff: sometimes surprising but always convincing, and with just the right amount of calculated madness. I was disappointed by Heathcliff’s suicide, though – it feels such a let-down after his demonstrations of strength of purpose, and is much less effective than his slow death in the novel (though, I suppose, it does end the programme more quickly!)

In this episode, the revenge which Heathcliff visits upon the next generation is in some ways rather abbreviated, but is played out well. The burgeoning romance between Hareton and Catherine is nicely done, however, and demonstrates that there can be freedom from the past, even though the last shot is of the ghosts of Cathy and Heathcliff looking out of the windows at Wuthering Heights. Only these two survivors seem to have any real possibility of freedom and happiness. Overall, I enjoyed this, and think it a worthy addition to the wide range of WH adaptations out there, but it is very difficult indeed, if not impossible, to suggest the full psychological range of the novel in any adaptation, I think.

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