Hollywood Rewind | Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A sparkling Audrey Hepburn

Anvita Singh
hollywood rewind

Watch Breakfast at Tiffany's for a glorious Audrey Hepburn.

Breakfast at Tiffany's movie cast: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Ebsen, Patricia Neal
Breakfast at Tiffany's movie director: Blake Edwards
Breakfast at Tiffany's movie rating: 4 stars

It’s the 1960s New York — a place bustling with energy and riches. And there is one woman who can perhaps be seen as an embodiment of the city, Holly Golightly. She is charming, lovely and commitment phobic. Just like New York, she belongs to no one and in a sense, to everyone. Because people who meet her cannot help but fall for her. And this is exactly what happens with writer Paul. This plotline of 1958’s Truman Capote’s novella was brought to life with finesse by Blake Edwards in the 1961 Hollywood movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Holly and Paul were played by Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, respectively.

While the end was foreseeable, the way it was handled brought to the story a certain freshness. The boy and girl do meet and exchange a passionate kiss. But the dialogues leading up to it and the performances build the tension just right. But before we jump to the end, a little about the characters. It is safe to say that Breakfast at Tiffany’s was an Audrey Hepburn film through and through. And boy oh boy, did she deliver! To say that Hepburn was stunning as the lively Holly would not be an overstatement. Not only did she look beautiful (she is Audrey Hepburn after all!), she behaved, walked and breathed like the impulsive Holly. At one point in the movie, she turns to one of her lovers and says, “You are always lugging home wild things. You must not give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get. Till they are strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree.” The self-realisation here is interesting to note. At first glance, Holly may seem like a naive person. But she is far from naive. She is an intelligent woman who is self-aware and knows what she doesn’t want. She doesn’t want to be tied down in a relationship because she has always seen them as burdensome. She leads men into happiness, but they end up loving her helplessly and then she dutifully, carefully leads them away. Her actions often put her in a bad light. But things turn around soon enough when she realises that what she is running from is ultimately herself. In fact, Holly is represented as a woman who is so afraid of trappings of any kind that she doesn’t give a name to the cat who adopts her (she calls it ‘Cat’).

It is these varied shades of Holly’s character that prevented her from becoming yet another hapless, girl-next-door. The handsome and talented George Peppard supported her admirably, and the chemistry between the duo was crackling. And to top it all, the film featured an Oscar-winning song sung by Hepburn herself — the heartwarming “Moon River.”

Hollywood Rewind: She's Gotta Have It | Ever After | The Devil Wears Prada | The Matrix | Creed | Mulan | Ratatouille | Shutter Island | Her | Dead Poets Society | Sleepless in Seattle | Waitress | Pride and Prejudice | The Dark Knight | Before Sunset | School of Rock | About a Boy | A Few Good Men | 50/50 | Begin Again | Brooklyn | Drive | Chocolat | Batman Begins | 10 Things I Hate About You | The Departed | Freedom Writers | Pretty Woman | Dan in Real Life | Jurassic Park | TangledMeet Joe Black | Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles

Excellent though it might have been in all departments of cinema, Breakfast at Tiffany’s biggest failure lies in the stereotypical depiction of the bumbling landlord Mr Yunioshi. Mickey Rooney essayed the role of the buck-toothed, caricaturish Asian landlord of Holly. Just for a few pity and sad laughs, a culture was misrepresented. This could have been easily avoided. Talented actor that Rooney was, he would have still evoked laughter without all the extra and unnecessary drama. So where does that leave us then, dear readers? To watch or not to watch? It’s up to you to take the call.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is available for streaming on YouTube and Google Play.