Movie Review: Wuthering Heights a Masterpiece Classic

This is my first Monday Movie Review, which is sponsored by Sheri at A Novel Menagerie.

Movie: Wuthering Heights

Starring: Tom Hardy as Heathcliff
Charlotte Riley as Catherine Earnshaw

Genre: Romance, Drama, Classic

The movie version of Emily Bronte’s classic Wuthering Heights may confuse viewers who recently read the book or have the book committed to memory. I distinctly remember the narrator, Lockwood, in the book, and was rightly confused when the movie began at the ending of the book when Heathcliff attempts to force Catherine Linton (Edgar Linton and Catherine Earnshaw’s daughter) to marry Linton (Healthcliff and Isabella Linton’s son).


Unlike the book, Heathcliff has a softer side, which only turns darker when Catherine’s brother, Hindley, takes over the estate after the death of Mr. Earnshaw. Hindley was vicious to Heathcliff as a child when his father brought the gypsy home. Rumors circulate that Heathcliff is Mr. Earnshaw’s illegitimate son, and Hindley wants to restore his family’s reputation. The relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff grows exponentially from when they were children, and through a sped up storyline and camera effects, their adult-like relationship and wild demeanors are revealed–romping on the moors, becoming intimate, and continuing to engage in childish pursuits of spying on the neighboring Lintons.

What’s missing from this movie adaption is the searing hatred Heathcliff exudes on his fellow man and particularly on Hindley. Eventually this hatred and darkness also descends on Catherine after she marries Edgar Linton. More than just Heathcliff’s edges are softened in this adaption. He’s kinder to Isabella, Catherine, and the subsequent children. Heathcliff’s ending is much more sedate than the downward spiral in the novel. Catherine also is a much softer, more lovable character in this adaption. She could be just as harsh as Healthcliff at times. The ending also is more hopeful.

Staying true to the novel may not have been the aim of this movie adaption. I’ll rate it 3 out of 5 bags of popcorn because the actors were well selected, the storyline was gripping, and the scenes were gorgeous.

Also Reviewed By:

Age 30+ . . . A Lifetime of Books

***In Other News***

Check out Jess McCann, Author of You Lost Him at Hello (my review), on Good Morning America, Feb. 13! On Jess’s Website you can watch her recent appearance on Fox Morning News!