Who Is the Real Villain in Los Abismos de Pasion: Alejandro or Catalina?

         Emily Brontë's 1847 Wuthering Heights (1847) is the gothic tale of a torrid love triangle that causes torment and pain for many characters in the story. Brontë clearly makes Heathcliff out to be the villain in her story; his horrible words and actions to nearly all the characters he comes in contact with speak for themselves. However, the 1954 Hispanic film version of Wuthering Heights, Los Abismos de Pasion, directed by Luis Buñuel, does not make the villainy quite so easy to pinpoint to Heathcliff's character alone.

         Since Los Abismos de Pasion was made and set in Mexico and is entirely in Spanish, the characters name has to be translated as well; Heathcliff is Alejandro (Jorge Mistral) in the film and Catherine is Catalina (Irasema Dillian). Alejandro arrives to Wuthering Heights, or simply the farm, late in the night after having been gone for some time. Though, it is clear his presence is not welcomed, viewers are not lead to immediately believe his intentions are somewhat evil. He has come back to claim what is rightfully his. Though his love, Catalina, has married another, he still wants to be a part of her life. However, he does not push his boundaries too far. Alejandro is not a good character and has no true good intentions; however, he is also not an obvious bad character. He never exerts any physical harm upon anyone; and he only exerts the tiniest mental torment on few, though he gives them all a fair opportunity to escape it.

         It much more justified to place the villain persona on Catalina. When Alejandro arrives, Catalina is not the least bit timid in admitting her undying love for him. She clearly states to her husband, Eduardo (Ernesto Alonzo), that her love for him will never come close to the love she has for Alejandro. That statement right there is one of the most wicked uttered in the entire film. If she does not love Eduardo, why did she marry him? It was obviously her selfish act that has led to the greatest torment in Alejandro's life, which could also be blamed for bringing out all the bad in Alejandro. When Catalina dies, in Alejandro's arm, not her husband's, Alejandro curses her soul to never rest in peace as long as he lives. His request was fair enough seeing that Alejandro's soul could not rest as long as Catalina was alive and married to another. Catalina's soul does not deserve to rest in peace.

         It was Catalina who was the greatest villain, causing the most pain to all the characters, especially her lover and her husband, in Los Abismos de Pasion.

Jessica Warren

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