Thanks to the lead actress, Audrey Hepburn, the 1961 Blake Edwards movie – Breakfast at Tiffany’s – became one of the most famous Hollywood productions ever. However, besides the apparently shallow façade of a romantic comedy, the movie itself has a deeper and more interesting story.
Do you know that the diamond is actually a crystalized carbon? Well, yes, the most desired and also, the toughest gemstone and our flesh consist of the same substance. The antithesis between the dead perfection of the diamond and the lively imperfection of the human body is the philosophical metaphor of this movie.
Holly Golightly Becomes a Gemstone Herself
Breakfast at Tiffany’s deliberately conjures up the sensation of being in a luxury store where expensive and glamorous objects are on display behind glass windows. Their perfection is almost surreal compared to our day-to-day imperfect life. A great number of jewels were used in the movie:the iconic attire wore by Hepburn, the beauty of the lead and supporting cast, the interior designs, the New York architecture as well as the Moon River song.
However, the main gemstone is, without doubt, the character brilliantly performed by Audrey Hepburn – Holly Golightly. Her diamond beauty and sophisticated performance made Holly Golightly a classic avatar for this movie baroness.
Holly was enamoured with jewels until she became one:beautiful, always impeccably dressed even when tired or drunk. Her hairstyle is exasperatingly perfect throughout the movie. Holly is actually mineralized, frozen in the beautiful dream of a carbon which became a diamond. And her deliberate goal is to be an incredibly rich man’s supreme accessory. Holly’s desire is crystal clear:she does not long to become a loving wife, but to be the epitome of her wealthy husband’s ostentatious status signs. Of course, alongside an expensive car and sumptuous villa.
A Perspective on Life Focused on Outer Beauty
At the same time, Holly borrows from an inorganic jewel:she does not relate to anyone or anything and thus, allows herself to detach from all that is impure:it does not matter if it is a cat, the different men in her life whom she calls rats or her abandoned life in the deep America. Holly Golightly is destined to a detached radiation in the elegant New York atmosphere. The glamour of a jewel is to be admired, but never to feed or warm somebody. In order to have this, organic, but modest substances are needed.
The movie brings at the forefront a certain different perspective on life:Holly’s character and the story of the film concentrate on outer beauty and power. It is an ode to the extreme wellbeing which is the only way an average girl would be able to overcome a common life. And by mimicking it, we could change our lives too. The billionaire she looks for is in no way the solution to her financial problems, however, it is a method of relinquishing the present and the entrance to the absolute, a glamorous, yet dead, paradise of the very rich.
This movie as well others in the dream industry explicitly and in detail tell us how it is really bad to be poor, ugly and on the fringes of society, far removed from the major urban centres. The repudiation of the periphery is Holly’s dream:if she married somebody in Brazil, she would definitely bring her children to the centre, to initiate them into the powerful, North-American culture.
However, there is a price to pay for this apparently easy movie genre-the romantic comedy. Holly Gotlightly abandoned her calm family life with a loving husband, in order to isolate herself in the glass and concrete atmosphere of New York;in the end, jewellery is not to be worn when going to milk the cows. Of course there are certain romantic conventions to woo the moral values of the cinema goer, but the general impression is the one suggested in the title:this classic motion picture is an expensive parable of luxury. We can enjoy its perfection, yet guard our souls from it.