Each reader has conjured up their own special portrayal of the imagery and character evictions provided, with every scene of the dark, emotional novel engraved In their brain. The very Idea of attempting to make a film adaptation of the powerful scenery and copious descriptions seems unsettling. However, a brave British actress, director and screenplay writer, Andrea Arnold endeavored to meet this challenge In 2011 with her dramatic romance, Withering Heights. According to IM Db. Err adaptation of this film received a decent amount of praise and nominated for “Bronze Horse” at the Stockholm Film Festival and “Golden Lion” at the Venice Film Festival (“Andrea”). I contend that Arnold effectively uses specific film techniques while maintaining important elements of the novel and decisively excluding others to portray the basic themes of the original masterpiece by Bronze. In the scene following Heathenishly arrival at Withering Heights, the director employs a purposeful use of setting to express major themes of the novel.
This scene addresses the first day Catherine and Heathenish spend a significant amount of time with each other. Catherine invites Heathenish on a horseback ride throughout the countryside. Catherine then proceeds to take Hateful up onto a giant rock, where they both lay, looking out on the vast rocky terrain. The setting used here by the director Is an open, broad and empty countryside that they ride across on horseback and then revel in its beauty later on the top of the rock. In Rampage, Bean and Johnny’s book they state that “an image might soothe us or repel us; it might evoke our sympathies, trigger our fears… (246). The imagery conveyed during this scene illustrates the importance of the effect of setting on the audience. The visualization revived by Arnold help to further our emotions about these characters, giving us a realization of their loneliness and separation from their environment. The audience can then sympathize with these forlorn characters while also recognizing the alluring beauty of their desolate surroundings. This setting portrays a sense of isolation and one of dazzling mystery; both ever present themes throughout the novel and the movie.
In the scene nearing and during Catering’s death, Arnold effectively uses the camera angle and a contrasting tone to display the devastating effects of Catherine Catherine after he hears that she has fallen ill. When Heathenish arrives, the tension between the two crackles with anger and Jealousy, however after Heathenish threatens to storm off, Catherine begs him to stay and they embrace. The angle used during their tight embrace of one another focuses on Catering’s hands, highlighting her wedding ring.
The director uses this angle to show that although Catherine may be legally bound to Edgar by her wedding ring, she is bound to Heathenish through love. The director also uses two very contrasting tones in this scene, one of reconciliation, et one of regret. The tone of reconciliation is portrayed when Heathenish and Catherine finally embrace, no longer relishing in their own pride, but openly expressing their love for one another. However, a tone of regret is conveyed as they realize the consequences of their choices to marry other people.
This is especially evident in Heathenish, who, by his abandonment of Catherine has caused her to fall ill, and she dies in his arms after their embrace. The director chose to utilize these contrasting tones in this particular scene because it follows the main themes of the evolve; the unbreakable love between Catherine and Heathenish but also the remorse felt for the effects of their actions. The closing scene of Withering Heights applies a significant use of symbolism and proper music. This scene shows a depressed Heathenish trudging out onto the foggy moors when a feather suddenly falls from a bird and drifts down from the sky.
The symbolism of feathers throughout the movie portrays the love between Heathenish and Catherine, evoking memories from their childhood when they would rub feathers on each other’s faces. The reason the director would have concluded with such homeboys would be to convey the fact that although Catherine has died, an undying love persists between her and Heathenish. This final scene also employs the use of music, which was not done in any other scene in the movie. The song, “The Enemy’ by Uniform and Sons, plays in the background while Heathenish reflects upon a particular memory of him and Catherine lying in the mud wrestling.
The director employed this song due to its powerful lyrics such as “tell me not of heartbreak, it plagues my soul” and “bury me beside you, I have no hope, in solitude” to reflect pond the main theme of a destructive, yet unchanging love. Mainly evident in its love triangle, significant places and death of Catherine, the movie remains true to the book in a number of ways. Throughout the book Catherine and Heathenish have this noticeably deeper connection from the moment they meet.
Even though their relationship is halted when Edgar marries Catherine, an ever- present sense of a strong love between the two remains. The movie excellently portrays this love triangle when Catherine confesses her deeper love for Heathenish although she knows she will end up marrying Edgar. The film, like the novel, displays their love as still remaining strong to keep the interest and hope of the audience that Catherine and Heathenish will one day be together. The movie also places emphasis on the two significant houses – Withering Heights and Treacherous Grange.
In the novel and the film Withering Heights, where Heathenish and Catherine grow up represents passion, emotions and instability whereas Treacherous Grange, where Linton resides symbolizes stability and peacefulness. Their depictions emphasize their representations, with Withering Heights shown as dirty, rugged, dark and mysterious ND filled with elegant furniture. Arnold accentuated the significance of each place like the book because it represents one of the main themes of the passion and strength of Heathenish and Catherine in Withering Heights and the passivity of Edgar in Treacherous Grange.
The movie also shows a significant event, Catering’s death, happen in the same way as it did in the book. In both stories, Catherine dies while in an embrace with Heathenish. The reasoning for the director maintaining the way she died would be to highlight the overall significance of Heathenish and Catering’s allegations, and the suffering it brought to Catherine, both consistent themes throughout the novel. While one could easily count a host of minor differences between the book and the film adaptation, the complete lack of the second half of the novel separates the film from its book.
While the first half the novel focuses on Catherine, Heathenish and Edgar, after Catering’s death Bronze shifts the interest of the book upon their children, recognized as younger Catherine, Hearten and Linton. The film adaptation, however, does not even address this second generation of characters or their legislations. While at first this may seem like an ignorant choice, the decision to concentrate on the first generation of characters by Arnold does serve to benefit the film by staying within a reasonable time frame while maintaining an accurate depiction of the first generation.
The film effectively utilizes the time allotted to a normal two hour movie. Without removing these secondary characters from the film adaptation, the movie would simply take too much time to watch. Hypothetically, if the director would have included these characters, the relationships and character oratory’s would very likely remain “flat” or unsubstantial in an attempt to cram all the elements of the book into the movie.
With an ample amount of significant characters in the novel, the exclusion of the second generation helps to depict the first generation of characters more accurately, emphasizing special aspects of their relationships in proper accordance with the book. The director of Withering Heights, Andrea Arnold highlights the main themes presented in the book by Emily Bronze by her cinematic techniques and her inclusion and exclusion of specific events and scenes. She effectively utilizes specific settings, angles, tones, symbolism and music to emphasize certain elements like the descriptions in the novel.