Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I have always been a big fan of Audrey Hepburn, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a movie that I have enjoyed time and again. The story of Holly Golightly and her friendship with Paul Varjak has become a timeless classic that is based off of the theory that opposites attract.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s makes good use of mise-en-scene in Audrey Hepburn’s character. The character, appropriately named Holly Golightly, lives a happy-go-lucky life. She seems to “go lightly” about everything. Even her apartment goes well with her name, as there is very little actually in her apartment, causing her new neighbor to originally believe that she had just moved into the complex, as well. She loves to party, enjoys sleeping late, and take life in stride.

In comparison, Paul Varjak is a character who is almost a complete opposite of Ms. Golightly. He has more of a sense of responsibility than that of his counterpart. His life is more disciplined. He holds more of a schedule than she does, spends part of everyday writing, has an apartment that is well furnished and decorated, and is more serious about life.

The motif of Breakfast at Tiffany’s can be found in the song ‘˜Moon River’. The song is played many times throughout the film. The opening of the film starts with this song. As Mr. Varjak is sitting in front of his typewriter working on a story, he is pulled away from his work by Ms. Golightly singing this song on her fire escape. Later, as Ms. Golightly’s husband (from which she’d annulled the marriage years earlier) rides away on a Greyhound bus, the song is playing. The use of the song as he is riding away gives a sense of sadness, suggesting the final acceptance of the end of their marriage by Mr. Golightly.

The idea of having a day filled with new experiences is a lot of fun. Champagne before breakfast? That’s nothing compared to having a Cracker Jack ring engraved at Tiffany’s! As a writer, I would love to go to the public library and be able to find my own books on their bookshelves. What was even more fun than enjoying Ms. Golightly and Mr. Varjak on their trek of new experiences was watching Mr. Varjak loosen up a little, coming out of his shell, especially when playing with the masks and deciding what to steal from the store, even walking out of the store with masks on their faces.

I have seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s multiple times over the years, but I’ve never had the chance to look at it in this perspective, looking at how it was made rather than just paying attention to the characters, setting, and dialogue.