Tragic first-love avoids clich?s

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 May, 2012, 12:00am
 

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bront?'s only novel, has been adapted for the screen dozens of times; this most recent version is a moody, beautifully filmed costume drama.

Mr Earnshaw (Paul Hilton) meets a homeless boy, and decides to bring him to Wuthering Heights, his family home. The boy, Heathcliff (James Howson), soon becomes close to Earnshaw's young daughter, Catherine (Kaya Scodelario).

Their idyllic friendship turns into unspoken puppy love, but when Earnshaw dies, Heathcliff is forced to start work as a labourer.

Catherine sees no future with Heathcliff, and takes up with rich young gentleman living nearby. Heathcliff takes off in despair, but a few years later, still confused about his feelings returns to visit the now-married Catherine...

This atmospheric portrayal of tragic, overwhelming passions offers a poetic, picturesque glimpse of sweet, heart-pounding first-love. It cleverly avoids cheesy, cliched dialogue, with the young lovers movingly falling for one another, almost without words.

Director Andrea Arnold's camera focuses on Heathcliff, letting viewers experience his Sfrustrations first-hand.

Interesting casting - inexperienced actors in lead roles, and reinterpreting Heathcliff's original gypsy character as black - adds a refreshing dynamic to what could have been just another costume drama.

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