Sydney Film Festival and Film Review: Wuthering Heights (2011) 3/5 – Visually excellent, weak in its story-telling.

The film lasted over 2 hours but there wasn’t much to say about its story and characters, if you have read the book.

In my opinion, the strength of Amold’s adaption of this Victorian and gothic classic lies on its visuals. The film successfully, and authentically, depicts a shattering presentation of its characters’ doomed fate, through beautiful shots of the bleak weather, soggy textures in the dim room, and crumbling ruins on the wide, wild landscapes. Often the shots are shaky, as if the camera are handled by hands, when Heathcliff and Cathy run through expanses of muddy moors. Personally I like this technique, as it creates a “raw”, ungoverned and wild feelings. Also a few uses of depth of field brings encourages a further melancholy.

‘Sadly, it’s success is in the eye of the beholder…although those eyes probably fell asleep half-way through the movie.’ – anther good review on Andrea Amold’s Wuthering Heights

However the film is too weak in its story-telling. Despite the fact that it’s adapted from a fine novel, the film has few dialogues. Yet everything’s been very predictable since the film follows the plot in the book exactly. It expects to present a ill-fated, compelling and haunting drama with few words from characters that aren’t developed enough and shots that drag on way too long. Visually the film looks beautiful and doomed enough, but it lacks a power to release the buildup of ill feelings into a thrust at audience’s hearts.

What’s worse, since the film never released those buildup of sentiments, the audience are left very unsatisfied. I feel like I’ve just watched a monologue of depression – a continues narrative of doom, doom and doom, in the end all into bubbles of gloom. Where is the unforgettable revenge? Where are the fearful hate and destruction? Where is all the evil embedded in the love? That’s all?

To conclude, this film is recommended to big fans of the original classic, or fans of photography documentaries.

The theme song of this film, ‘The Enemy’, written by Mumford & Sons, is a highlight. You can listen to the song in the trailer video provided below.

[By the way the film, as a part of Sydney Film Festival, was screened in the State Theatre of Sydney. The grand and classical decor match the Victorian and gothic style in the film really well.]

For the 4 papers in the coming exam weeks, I’ve holed up in the study room for days and felt stressed out. Yet I could not resist the temptation of free movie tickets to Sydney Film Festival. What happened was:

Michael: Hey do you want to hang out this weekend?
Me: No I’m really nervous for my exams. I can’t hang out till I finish all the papers in the end of this month.
Michael: Okay. I was thinking checking out Sydney Film Festival this Friday.
Me: oh sorry I can’t …
Michael: It’s okay. I got two free tickets and thought you might be interested. But if you are busy …
Me: Absolutely I’m in!
Michael: (… You are pathetic …)

lol. So, unlike my unimates who have camped in the library for days and nights, I slept in at home and hung out to watch a film.


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