Hopefully that does make sense. The book is a masterpiece but is almost unfilmable, so no matter the quality of the final product any attempt should be given some credit. This Wuthering Heights was a little disappointing, especially compared to the Laurence Olivier and even the 1998(the most faithful adaptation) versions, but it's not best at all, it is better than the 2011 film which was too avant-garde and had the child and adult actors/counterparts looking and acting nothing like one another. There are things that could have been done better. The main problem is that the story does jump around a bit too much though not quite in an incoherent way, I did wish that some scenes were given more depth and that we got to know the supporting characters more. The ending was bungled, dramatically it underwhelms in how clumsy it is and will leave one infuriated rather than moved. And while what was in the script was good, well-written and brooding some of the famous lines are either omitted or don't have the impact, if it were the opposite there may have been more emotional punch and depth.
At its best though, this adaptation of Wuthering Heights is great, especially in five areas. The best thing is definitely Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff, handsome and brooding Dalton has never been more savage or tortured, he never overplays the brutish side of this truly difficult character to pull off and he doesn't underplay the more humane side either. Then there's the music, which is unforgettably melancholic, enough to make you cry often, of all the Wuthering Heights adaptation this gets my personal vote as the one with the best and most effective score. Like the 1998 adaptation, the scenery is enough to take the breath away yet there is a wonderful atmosphere about them too and in an evocative way. The photography is very fluid and allows us to enjoy the atmosphere and scenery, doing this without being too flashy, while the costumes are beautifully realised and true to period, never too over-opulent or drab. And then there is the memorable scene with Heathcliff at Cathy's grave and the luring of Heathcliff by Cathy's ghost, which is incredibly haunting. A shame that what followed didn't work anywhere near as well.
The cast are fine on the whole, though Dalton dominates and the only one perhaps who stays long in the memory. Anna Calder Marshall is a fiery and sensitive Cathy and shows some intense and tender chemistry with Dalton. That is not to say she doesn't have some poor moments, her screaming of "Heathcliff" were even more grating than Sally Field's "Don-kee" in the 2000 adaptation of David Copperfield. Ian Ogilvy is a gentle and very likable Edgar, if at times a little too on the meek side(not his fault, Edgar is not the strongest of characters in the book either). Julian Glover is appropriately menacing as Hindley, though the Hindley in the 1998 adaptation brought some tragedy and torment to the character which made him somewhat more dimensional. Harry Andrews brings warmth to a kindly character and Judy Cornwell is similarly spot-on as Nellie. The storytelling is uneven, but the atmosphere is very well-done and there are some good scenes like the one mentioned above. The script is a little skimmed-over quality but it's not badly written at all and doesn't disgrace Emily Bronte's prose(much more however could have been done with the famous lines). The direction is far from amateurish too.
Overall, far from a bad version but as an adaptation of the book it will be left wanting. It has a lot of good things, some like Dalton, the music and scenery can be classed as great. But a few big areas like the ending, the flow of the story and some parts of skimming-the-surface writing are lacking quite a fair bit. 6.5-7/10 Bethany Cox