It's burdened by a title it doesn't want or honour, interested more in an unsuccessful experiment of what makes the camera subjective...nonetheless Ryan's photography is a marvel in its right, and would resonate in a more dramatic arc. I don't envy the editor of Arnold's establishing shots. The sensuality of the near-silent first half is let down by the peripatetic and duty-bound second. 3.5
TV. Rich white girl finds adventurous poor blackboy and follows him through Rural England until she discovers that she's incapable of overcoming the system and is defeated, and killed, by it. Also following them is Andrea Arnold's "whatsoever style", full of anodine camera shake - which lies down on top of them all the time, confusing formlessness with realism-, with the inability of annoying automatic blurs.
An ambitious film, however, it fails to be a drama-love story. (1) Rare dialouges (2) no background about who, what, when, where, why (we don't know anything about Heathcliff & about the inner life of Catherine) (3) a cast, who can't put across the emotion (4) I observe, I witness & I recognize the relationship & pain, but can't really feel it. That's the issue: the lack of emotion. (5) The fine camera can't offset.
As an exercise in sharp, poetic, sensory cinematography with an ethereal representation of the narrative, this film is a marvel. As an adaptation, it fails to capture the beating heart of Bronte's Cathy and Heathcliff. A great director whose idiosyncratic style was ill-suited to this tale. A commendable misfire.
This movie would have been more aptly named Heathcliff because it's sole focus is the relationship between Heathcliff and Cathy. The remainder of the book is ignored. While I applaud Ms Arnold's bold direction, it wasn't entirely successful. The child actors are far more compelling than their adult counterparts. And while the gritty realism and moody atmosphere are excellent, the story drowns in it's claustrophobia.