|director Andrea Arnold|
|"Heathcliff" and "Catherine" at a screening at the Venice Film Festival|
Arnold joked in both pre and post talk of how everyone will need a really stiff drink or two after the viewing and how sweet dreams will come only with valium. She was right: this is an utterly disturbing and horrifying film. But, at its basest, so is the novel. We can wrap it in a neat package and serve it to high school students: tapping into the innate anger they experience with their growing pains and capitalizing on raging hormones that echo the teenage virility of Catherine, Heathcliff and their surrounding moors... but this is a dark and hopeless exploration of the darkest recesses of human spirit. Heathcliff is not a loveable roguish bad boy. Instead, he is a sadistic abuser: to Catherine, to Hindley and Hareton, to animals, to his wife, Isabella, and mostly to himself.
[Thanks, Kat, for making this happen!]