Title: Wuthering Heights
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Andrea Arnold
based on the novel of Emily Bronté
Cinematography: Robbie Ryan
A Febiofest screening of the disturbingly personal remake from UK torch-bear filmmaker Andrea Arnold’s rendition of Emily Brontë’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS, whose previous breakthrough films RED ROAD (2006) and FISH TANK (2009) are breaking the tides of dolly dally UK stereotypes of period prosperity and establishing herself as one of the most distinguished auteur in an international scale.
A juxtaposition of this remake with another classic-reboot film JANE EYRE 2011 (directed by Cary Fukunaga) seems to be inevitable, both from UK, and fabricated by two very talented directors, by comparison, JANE EYRE sustains an irresistible international appealing by its rising stars casting (Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska) and finesses the dramatics in a more conventional but tangible way, WUTHERING HEIGHTS is an oddball composition, firstly introducing a black Heathcliff which one cannot figure out the intention behind as racism berating is never being mentioned, secondly, robustly jostling with some unsettling visual resonances repels many audience (which actually had happened during my experience with a dozen of people left the room halfway) and a its implicit doesn’t help either.
The sublimely Stygian cinematography from DP Robbie Ryan is harsher and murkier than Adriano Goldman’s Gothic vibes in JANE EYRE, but handheld angle also launches a heady uneasiness. Meanwhile sporadic point-of-view shots focusing on different animals (from insects to mammals) are over-exploited.
The mostly-unknown cast stimulates some freshness but also is a patchy hodgepodge, two younger leaders are less contrived than two adult ones, and one sure thing is it is not a performers’ podium as Arnold’s previous films.
This haunted remake is an interesting case of a bravura from a visual artist rather than a cinema auteur, under the belt of Arnold, it should have been more charming and brilliant than it is.