Where to start. On immediate perception I noticed how dramatics were put in play concerning the weather, the lighting, the music, and the landscape. Secondly, I appraised the way in which the film followed the novel from a narrative standpoint that looked beyond Ellen's involvement and focused more on Heathcliff and Catherine in a way that would do Emily Bronte proud. I was however disappointed in the choice to not include little Cathy but nonetheless impressed in how truly the film followed the novel. The film maker obviously took important note of details within the novel to truly humanize and justify Catherine and Heathcliff away from Ellen's judgemental and slightly biased perception. Yet the film did just enough to still be true to Bronte's characterization of the two characters which I considered quite a feat in their efforts to soften the extremely dim tragedy of the two lovers.
Most of the camera shots were taken up close to give a whole perspective of the profile that gave the audience a feel that they were close spectators of the fall. Lighting was manipulated any time the mood changed, from the opening scene which is extremely dark, Ellen takes you right into a happy extremely lighted mood that is all happy which changed upon Heathcliff's arrival. It is interesting to note the changes in the reception of Heathcliff, the gifts were given in one piece, the wife was more than happy to welcome the horrid child. I had to say I appreciated how detail made an effect on the mood, especially the ghost scene which I fearfully watched out of the side of my eyes and I felt it relevant (given the time period) that though the scene was softened a bit it still aroused enough fear to portray to the audience what the character was feeling at that particular time. I thought it interesting that though Ellen is always present within the novel, she be placed to the side and only on screen when her prescence was especially necessary. I thought this helped give a non-judmental perception of the two lovers. The novel was followed fairly literally in the play which little changes to both reflect the mood of the time and censor any over the top moments from the novel.
Well, not to certainly say censor but especially soften the mood. Catherine was not so nearly as tempermental as she was given to be in the novel, nor Mr. Heathcliff as horrendous. Ellen actually attributed an affinity for her mistress and seemed extremely supportive of the match. Even the dance scene attributed to reflecting the time period in which the movie was made, whether intentional or no. It did well in portraying a certain civility that was otherwise extremely lacking in the novel.
The continuous music I did find frustrating because I understood the relevance of the music in portraying the mood but on the same point the music never stopped throughout the first 15 minutes and I felt that more detracted from the story instead of amplifying it.
To accertain this point here are the first 9 minutes of the movie.
All in all I was extremely proud of this rendition of Wuthering Heights because it did amazing justice to the novel and brought of the characters in a true manner that was conveyed through the author's characterization. This movie insights pangs and awes and does justice to their tragic love.