Abismos de Pasion

It is always difficult to consider the value of a film when stood next to its hardback counterpart. Bunuel points out that the purpose was to keep in spirit with Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights which becomes extremely more difficult the denser the translation. Bunuel does splendidly in portraying a mad love, which Bunuel artistically reveals through the lenses’ perspective. The camera's point of view speaks for the narrative by giving a spectator perspective, which is revealed through a voyeuristic following of actions and situations that almost feel like they should not be watched since the interaction is so intimate. It seemed as though the audience was spying on the other characters, which becomes the case for a few of the characters to help convey their reactions to the situations and also give insight to the internal perspective of the character. Most of the scenes that deal with spying put Alejandro in the victim's seat with Catalina overlooking the interactions between Isabel and Alejandro on the cliff. Eduardo listens at the door when Catalina and Alejandro argue over Isabel and Isabel spies on the return of Catalina and Alejandro. So a central focus is forced on Alejandro through all the character's watchful eyes which help convey his untrustworthy nature. There is always the continuing sense of distrust because Alejandro’s immediate past is clouded with uncertainty and there is the basic assumption that his means to attaining wealth were less than honorable. Only in Catalina does the movie portray a softer side to Alejandro, but after she dies he falls through a momentary lapse of demonic rage in which his face is hidden in the shadows thus hiding the worst part of him from the audience. Bunuel shadows Alejandro is many scenes but it is only during his desperate call from Catalina after her death that he is completely shrouded in darkness.
The relationship between man and nature, or more specifically man and animal also do much to convey the internal workings of each individual character though the only character that does not give any relation or opinion towards animals and possession is Alejandro. Instead, he is referred to as a canaille which can be considered as a dog, riffraff or the proletariat so this representation of him by all the other characters externalizes him from the inward workings of normal society. Discovering this meaning only contributes in the sympathy for Alejandro who does try to justify his behavior by emphasizing his treatment in the past. All the other characters are portrayed as hunters. Catalina kills a buzzard in the opening scene and with that mentions how it is better to kill with one shot. Eduardo, in killing a butterfly, says it is the only humane way to kill the creature while still keeping its beauty intact and Isabel flutters at both for treating the creatures so poorly. Thus Eduardo is focused on preserving the beauty of his object, Catalina of killing it fast and quick, and Isabel by treating it soft and compassionately. All follow suit in their concepts of love. Catalina also gives the funny point of justifying the imprisonment of a bird because she loves it. So again you see her treatment of both men in the same way she treats the animals. Her love for Alejandro can only exist in death and Eduardo's in imprisonment. Again, mad love is brought to mind because there is that sense of hopeless passion and discontent for love on all sides.
Although the movie does follow an extremely dense version of Bronte's plot lines, the movie does do well in keeping the fervent passion alive between Alejandro and Catalina. The ending does Alejandro a great justice for humanizing him by reacquainting him with his perpetual soul mate. The idea of love after death is maintained from print to screen in keeping the spirit of Bronte's vision alive. The only diversion is the new representation of nature in the form of animals though keeping alive the wild and free atmosphere of the open environment in which Catalina and Alejandro escape to profess their love. A simply grotesque scene that keeps alive the animalistic nature of the characters is the scene that shows the death of a pig which is just hideous and barbaric, even with the obvious sound overs of the pig screeching in the film. The spirit of Emily Bronte and the passion that is seen throughout the novel is translated into an animalistic sort of passion that brings out man’s primal instincts towards love and possession which only heightens the sense of darkness within the love story.

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