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Japanese horror tales

Kwaidan: A Different Type of Horror (Part III)

Please refer to my other posts for complete film analysis : Part I and Part II.

The last story in this film is In a Cup of Tea. This is the shortest story and my least favorite. I wonder why they put this story at the last section of the film. The ending of this story is as unfinished as the actual ending of the film. Did I confuse you yet? Keep reading.

The year 1900 Meji era, a writer mysteriously left his book unfinished. The narrator in the film attempted to explain what happened. Around New Year, Lord Sado Nakagawa visited the area and stopped at the temple with his entourage at a temple in Hongo. Kannai one of the travelling men, became thirsty and went to get a cup of water, but soon an apparition appeared in the water, smiling at him. He tossed the water out, but the reflection of a strange man kept appearing when he scooped a new cup of water. Irritated, he drank the water.

Later that evening, the strange man in the cup of water appeared in the manor in human form. He called himself, Heinai Shikibu. Frightened by the appearance, Kannai claimed to never have seen him, when asked if he recognized the mysterious man. Heinai Shikibu got upset when Kannai threw the water on the ground earlier that morning at the temple. Kannai reached his sword and attacked Heinai Shikibu. And then, the “wounded mysterious man” disappeared behind the wall. No one believed him when he said there was an intruder entering the manor.

The next following night, three visitors came to visit Kannai. They claimed to be Heinai Shikibu’s retainer. The visitors said Heinai Shikibu will come back on the 16th of the month to get his revenge. Kannai became angry and started to swing his sword at the visitors. Those ghostly visitors could not be killed because they were not real. Kannai turned into a mad man, laughing hysterically because he could not defeat them.

Then the scene went back to the writer, who left his book unfinished. The publisher came to check on the writer as the deadline was approaching. It appeared that the writer’s suffered from writer’s block and could not come up with a satisfying ending “to a story about a man who swallowed another’s soul.” So he left it for the publisher to come up with an ending. The ending of the film showed the writer inside a big water vase.

I personally think this story is confusing no matter how many times I watched it. Perhaps, there’s cultural references and lore that I’m not well aware of. However, if the author intended to make his audiences confused, he succeeded because I wouldn’t know how to finish the story if it were given to me. But it’s sure a haunting tale even though it’s not scary. I still enjoyed the camera shots and the overall production.

In summary, I enjoyed watching Kwaidan. It’s relaxing and beautiful to watch. I have always liked older films and a good horror story. It does something to my soul. It heals it just like having a cup of tea.

Note Originally posted:
November 10, 2019 3:23 am

Criterion Collection Kwaidan Cover

Kwaidan: A Different Type of Horror (Part II)

Hoichi the Earless is the third story in the film. The longest story out of all the four stories and the most complex to dive in, but artistically on point. I watched the segment repeatedly, analyzing every scene from the painted red/orange sky to the watermelon.

It started off with a gloomy song about the last battle fought between the Genji and Heike clan. Three thousand people total fought along the shore of Dan-no-ura.  In the song, it mentioned how the Heike clan got defeated.  And thereafter, the sea became haunted for 700 years. To console the dead samurais, a temple was built.  And thus, the strange haunted tale between Hoichi, the blind musician and the supernatural began.

Hoichi played the musical instrument called biwa and became a master at reciting the battle’s story. He even surpassed his teacher. One day, he was called by a spirit to perform at Akamagahara, which was actually a cemetery for the Heike spirits, located near the temple. Hoichi agreed to visit Akamagahara thinking it was an honor to play in front of a high rank.

The next day, a dead body appeared on the shore—the villagers blamed the sea ghosts for the cause of death. Then we later find out another ship had sunk on that very same night Hoichi recited the battle story. Apparently when the story had been recited, someone will die.

Hoichi’s encounter with the dead caused him to become pale. He would sleep during the day and visited Akamagahara at night. The master of the temple and everyone began to take notice of his disappearance at night and his odd behavior and wonder if they could trust him.

One pouring night, Hoichi left again to Akamagahara. They found Hoichi reciting the last “Battle at Dan-no-ura.” This section was beautifully well pieced in the story. Throughout each disappearance at night, we don’t see Hoichi reciting the battle. It was until the last portion of the battle song when he was finally discovered that we see him reciting to the dead. Little small choices like this from the director made all the difference to imply the scope of this horror tale. It’s haunting.

It was then, the master of the temple confronted Hoichi that he had been lured by a menacing spirit. Soon, it will possess and kill him. In order to save Hoichi from the spirit, scriptures were written all over his body except for his ears. He was told not to respond to the spirit when it called for him.  And so, during the evening, just when the spirit was about to call for Hoichi to attend the cemetery, the spirit got angry because he could not find Hoichi but only his ears (the scriptures made his body invisible). The spirits then tore Hoichi’s ears apart out of menace. As a result of the supernatural’s vicious attack on Hoichi, the incident led him rise to fame to the point that even the living lord requested to hear him perform the Heike Tale. Hoichi did not declined. As long as he’s alive, he will play his biwa with all his soul to mourn those thousands of spirits.

How is this a haunting tale, you might wonder? It’s haunting in the sense that the spirits could never be put to rest without replaying the whole battle at Dan-no-ura over and over and over. For 700 years, the shore where the battle took place between the Genji and Heike clan had been haunted. Hoichi’s willingness to mourn for the dead also made it haunting. It’s bittersweet, but also frightening of Hoichi to play for the dead, but the dead should be left in the past.

By far, this is my favorite horror tale from the film. It’s eerie and was well done cinematically. Stay tuned for my final analysis of this film.

Note: Originally posted on Nov. 9, 2019; Revised April 5, 2022

Criterion Collection Kwaidan Cover

Kwaidan: A Different Type of Horror (Part I)

What does it mean to be haunted? Does haunting consists of ghosts and terror? Is haunting like a whiff of cigarette smoke lingering in the air which won’t subside, or it is like an ancient ruin that once stood proudly in splendor only to be left abandoned and rotten in time? This is the feeling I get from watching this film. It’s a film comprised of four haunting stories.

The first story is called Black Hair. It’s a tale about a man who abandoned poverty to gain higher social status at the expense of leaving his soft spoken, docile wife. Like most ambitious men, the husband desired status and wealth. Unfortunately, when he did achieve his ambition by marrying a woman belonging to a higher social status than his former wife, he realized that the grass was not always greener on the other side. His new wife was cold and selfish. As time progressed, he started to yearn for his former wife and remembered innocently how she spoke to him. When he decided to return to her. She was no longer there but a past memory. In the end, his unwise decision to abandon his former wife indirectly killed her by leaving her to die in poverty alone. What’s the irony in that? We seek fortune only to fall out of fortune. All of these points mentioned were done with few words. There was not a lot of talking. Each frame illustrated these points so hauntingly beautiful that I just had to summarize the story myself in words to captivate its essence.

In contrast to Black Hair, The Woman of the Snow is a tale about a woman’s temperament. One moment she can be so warm and the next, cold. In this tale, a young woodcutter and his father went out into the forest to cut wood, but found themselves stranded in the snowstorm. The father died from the snowstorm but he survived because the Snow Woman found him attractive. She let him live but under one condition: never tell anyone about their encounter. If he break the promise, she will kill him. Long story short, a year later, when he recovered, he met a beautiful fair skin woman (Snow Woman) just passing along mysteriously. The woodcutter fell in love with her and they both had three children together. One evening, while he was making sandals for the children and for his wife, the woodcutter innocently smiled at his wife and told her how he met Snow woman in the shelter on a snowy day. Like a light switch, the wife turned from warm to cold because the wood cutter had broke a promise. The wife revealed she was the Snow Woman and so he must die. But out sympathy, she decided to let him live instead for the sake of their children. It’s an unfortunate tale that demonstrated how women can be unforgiving. Sadly, he spoke wrongly unintentionally, as he meant to compliment her on her beauty. How is this tale haunting? Well, beautiful women can be quite scary, but we fall for them anyway.

Note: For this film analysis, I will break it into three posts. It’s a long film which runs about 3 hours. My final thoughts will be at the end of the analysis. Originally posted on Nov. 11, 2019. Revised April 2, 2022.

Reflecting on Ex Machina: A Sci-Fi Eye Candy Thriller

Originally posted Aug. 2, 2020; Revised Feb. 19, 2022. Contains spoilers.

My brother introduced me to this film. He said it was really good and I should watch it. I did a couple years later. Unlike my brother, I wasn’t impressed with it because my initial reaction was that I have already known long ago that most women are manipulative confused robots (I hope you can tell I’m being sarcastic). Later on, with more time to process the film, I realized there’s more that meets the eyes. Still, it’s no masterpiece to me. It’s just entertainingly decent.

At first which I reviewed this film back in 2020. I was heavily bias against it, sawing it as an attack on women who yearn for freedom and liberation from traditional role. At the time, I accidently landed in a YouTube section where men were bashing women calling them damaged goods just because they need to go find themselves by choosing to walk away from a relationship. So, when I watched Ex Machina, I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between Ava with real women. What is so wrong with a woman who wants to explore the world after being caged up in a facility as a test subject for so long by an unethical, perverted engineer? It sounds as if she was in an abusive relationship. I had to empty out my biases to appreciate what the film tried to communicate and learned that my initial reaction to the film was impaired.

Note: If you have not seen the film, please refer to the synopsis on Wiki to follow along this article. Thank you.

There are two important points that the plot wants to make in this film: one is the Caleb Smith’s instinctive behavior toward Ava (the AI) and the second is controlling her, the source.  Why is Caleb attracted to Ava, knowing she is an AI?  Why does Ava need to get out and experience freedom? Why does she need to go on a date with Caleb to the theatre? The simple answer is data (I cannot imagine what Ava wants to do with data. She is like a search engine gone crazy, I suppose).  Thus, the film attempted to illustrate that technology can be dangerous by comparing it on a relationship level where humans can understand. But to me, it just appeared chauvinistically narrow-minded.

Metamorphically speaking, it succeeded at presenting its ideas by comparing Ava to a typical woman, although I don’t think it was the most effective ways to communicate the idea that AI can be dangerous. Clearly, the intended demographic for this film is for straight male viewers. For one, it reiterated that nice guys do finish last. Secondly, robots are alluringly dangerous like beautiful women (the male gaze in the film gives it away). Lastly, the final conclusion of the plot implied that in theory, having a beautiful woman by your side is a nice idea until it starts manifesting and spiraling into something out of your control which may cause your death! As the saying goes, if you play with fire, you will get burn. So, what it all boils down to is that the film speaks from a heterosexual man’s fear. And that notion alone makes me feel quite disconnected and less appreciative of the film.

So, this brought me back to my conclusion of the film. It’s a bit chauvinistic. It’s fearful of technology but at the same time drawn to it. It’s a tragic comedy but far from clever (hard not to roll eyes with certain scenes). Hence, that is why I classify the film under Sci-Fi Eye Candy Thriller, according to Halsdoll’s imaginary film dictionary (in other words, I made up the subgenre); and lastly, there’s nothing mind-blowing about a primitive fear that has been known since the dawn of time. We know that humanity is captivated by the beauty of the unknown and yet we foolishly explore it anyway. Yes, nerds may rule the world, but they are not always the wisest.

Reflecting on A Taxi Driver (2017)

Ordinary people are not often praised in society as heroes because they don’t go out into the world expecting recognition. Some are thrown into the situation and fate just decided for them. In this suspenseful chilling, heart-warming story, we follow a taxi driver from Seoul and a German reporter to uncover the reality of the Kwangju Uprising. So, brace yourself because you are going to go on one hell of a ride. Well, I went into this film blind and was moved to tears. Okay, I confess I recognized the actor, Song Kang-ho from Parasite (2019) and I liked it that’s the only reason why I watched this film apart from having a soft spot for political historical films. 

Before we start, let’s get some history lesson out of the way. It’s really important to understand this historic event since this film is based on the event, which I recall my world history textbook only mentioned briefly or didn’t mention it at all. I just don’t remember. I’m not a history buff. So, if you are like me, we need a refresher: 

The Kwangju Rising is an event that took place from May 18th to 27th of 1980. The time where South Korea dictatorship long era ends. However, it did not transition from authoritarian to democracy smoothly. General Chum Doo-hwan, the head of the military coup seized power, which only intensified the people’s need for democracy. As a result, many innocent lives have been taken during the protest against the martial law. 

Sounds pretty intense, doesn’t it? Well, I used to live in downtown Seattle where protests happen frequently. I was always on the edge. I didn’t realize how physically and mentally draining it is to witness protest almost every other weekend for years! And the local news media didn’t help to ease my mind. It tends to exaggerate current events for dramatic effects because that’s what viewers like–bad news. However, in some cases, some countries do the opposite. They minimize the severity of the situation, which is what made Kwangju Uprising so terrifying for those who value democracy. And yet, for such an intense event, the director, Jang Hoon chose to explain the event in a light-hearted way, in which the average person can empathize. We follow a story of an ordinary family man who works as a taxi driver, trying to make a living to support his 11-year-old daughter. Like most people, he doesn’t care to meddle in politics until money is involved. A German foreigner offered a large sum of money to a taxi driver to take him to Kwangju. Through out the film, gradually you can see the taxi driver growing into someone who thinks less about himself but more towards the well-being of the general mass.  

Without spoiling too much of the film, one thing this film has shown me is what true democracy looks like. It’s full of vibrant colors, and sentimental people who are in tuned with human dignity such as cooperation and respect for the human life. Therefore, I was indeed rooting for the taxi driver and his cute, lime green car to save South Korea from being swallowed up by the big black van, which is a metaphor for the oppressive government whose heart is so black that it felt no remorse to run over its people and lied to its citizens of the uprising death toll. People deserve to know the truth. Not hide it. In the end, the taxi driver did his job well–drove his passenger to his destination as promised to Kwangju. But did he do it for money? You’d be surprised. Money doesn’t always guarantee first-class customer service. It is in the heart of the driver that determines it.

 A Taxi Driver gave me a little history lesson on South Korea and I enjoyed the ride the entire way. But don’t take my word for it. You should try calling the cab and see it for yourself. Hopefully, you got one with a big heart.

Reflecting on the film An Education (2009): The Hardest Lesson Is Not Always Taught in School

There’s no shortcut to success. Well unless you are really lucky you might be able to live the high life depending on the variables of your circumstance and whether it works in your favor. If you were to ask me, I’m a big advocate for education but think the system is entirely broken and only the privileged benefit from it (I’ll try not to get political) and most of my good friends are book smart, but street smart not so much.

Good girl falls for the bad boy. It’s a classic tale and that has been told several times. It’s as most girls believe themselves to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast thinking they can tame the wild beast. My mature self is thinking: no dear, life is not a fairy tale and yet we girls were to born to believe it otherwise. Wolves simply don’t care. If they are hungry, they will devour you even if you are sweet.

In this film, directed by Lone Scherfig, written by Lynn Barbe, tells a story about a 16-year-old girl named Jenny who got seduced by a man twice her age. Pressured by her dad and school, Jenny sought anything but a boring life because she really is nothing but boring. All she does is prep for the exams to get into Oxford University and once she gets her degree, she’ll continue the tradition. Yes, a boring life. Until one day, all of that change when she got rescued by a guy who drove a fancy maroon car. He noticed her standing beside the street in the pouring rain with her cello and decided to pull up and offer her a ride, claiming he didn’t want the cello to get damaged by the rain. Sounds reasonable enough. Instantly, she is wooed by his random act of kindness.

Sounds kind of romantic but crazy at the same time. You see, not only was the protagonist blinded, but her parents were also blinded by this seemingly charming guy when she brought him home. He’s a classy crook by profession. No seriously, he really is a criminal that gets away with the law. That’s because he is so good at it. He’s so good that he deceived her parents into believing that he has inside connection with Oxford University. Like any parents, they just want the best for their child. So, they fell into his deception and allowed her to date him even though he’s twice her age (I believe I mentioned his age earlier).

As an audience, the film sort of try to make its viewers empathize with the situation but it was hard for me. I think it’s partially my cultural background as I was taught never to accept gifts from men, especially from strangers. So, I found some events in the film unconvincing even though I knew what it was implying. When dealing with a wolf in sheep clothing, it’s hard to put your guard up because everything happens so quickly. And when you are young, you lack experiences so you don’t know any better. I was once a teenager too. We think we know but we don’t know and it’s not really our fault because wisdom comes with experience and there really is no shortcut. At least that is the message I got from the film.

Yes, I know I was stupid. The life I want, there’s no shortcut.

I quote the protagonist.

Overall, decent film with dramatized effects. Good thing, the film is not all tragedy but a lesson to be learned. Perhaps, that’s why it’s called An Education. So go to school and get an education and be self-sufficient so that you don’t get your heart broken by a no-good sugar daddy.

Reflecting on The Apartment (1960) Film

Do you know what a mensch is? I didn’t know what it mean before I watched this film. What better way to define a person with integrity and honor by showing what it’s not by starring a bachelor whose goal is to climb the corporate ladder by succumbing to bribery? He allowed his superiors to conduct extra marital affairs at his apartment in the exchange of promotion. Now, I recall reading company’s manual on not to accept bribes because things like this do happen! This film falls under romance/comedy and perhaps that’s just my cup of tea lately, a happy ending with a bit of romance.

Truthfully, I was not all that different from the protagonist C.C Baxter except I wasn’t as mischievous and I did not work for an insurance company. Like him, I wanted to climb the corporate ladder. Unfortunately the company I worked for did not have much growth opportunities to sustain my “bachelorette” lifestyle (it really just means I rather be alone than settle with the wrong person). Plus, people recognized the color of my lipstick and the outfit I was wearing for the day rather than my leadership skills. So promotion was far from reach. In the end, after 5 years, I got no where because 1) the company got acquired 2) I was suffering from mental fatigue and 3) the new company did not align with my basic principles. On the bright side, I met some friends and acquaintances and found love and love conquers all. So I guess being cute has its perks or I was just in the wrong field of work.

So, that is why I enjoyed this film. It’s a happy ending where an ambitious man realized that climbing the corporate ladder is not worth the happiness that he yearned for all along. He was always a little lonely after all when he realized that he was falling for the Operating Elevator Girl by the name of Fran Kubelik, a naïve but charming girl who failed typing test because she couldn’t spell, which was the reason she ended up in that job role to begin with (Why am I beginning to feel like her?). But most of all, she didn’t deserve to be used as a side thing for some sleazy big corporate man who happened to be married with two children. Hmm…, did I recall watching something similar to this, a film about a blonde cheerleader who thought she found the love of her life, called Lying Eyes? There’s a lot of humor to this film that I enjoyed because it’s such an old fashion idea but still rings truth to modern day society: The nice girl falls for the wrong guy and can’t seem to fall for the nice guy who is a bit of a crook himself but realizes how great the good guy is so she leaves the wrong guy for the good guy. Like I said, a happy ending.

I know I made the plot sounds so basic and it wasn’t just the happy ending I liked, but it was the décor and the way it was filmed made it so timelessly romantic. The apartment scenes were just well done, apart from the busy office and bar scenes which highlighted the bachelor lifestyle, making it full of excitement and possibilities but in the wrong sense. Fraternity can only last so long when it’s time to settle down and that is what the protagonist learned. As I mentioned, a happy ending. Glad to see he finally turned around and become a mensch. Quit his job and stop supporting his superiors’ extra marital affairs by drawing some boundaries. Now the only problem Baxter has is to find work. Back to square one, but that’s okay. One door closes but a new one opens. That’s how we should see life. At least that’s how I remain optimistic and happy. Love this film!

Pulse (回路,Kairo) Review: Help Me Escape Loneliness

Our world is ancient. People born and people die since prehistoric time. But what happens when there’s no more space left in the afterworld for those who have passed away? What are they? Ghosts? Wandering souls? When that happens, they bleed into our realm. The ghosts walk among us. So never open The Forbidden Room or else you will experience death, the eternal loneliness.

Pulse directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, released in 2001 in Japan and 2005 in the U.S, is a philosophical horror film with a touch of science fiction all mixed into one. Quite frankly I was pleasantly surprised this showed up in my recommendation of films to watch on Amazon Prime Video. I have been searching for this film for a while and seen it several years ago but forgot the title. If it were a video game, I would play it in a heartbeat. In fact, some of the horror titles I enjoyed in the past were released around that time:

The film is not as straight forward so watching it with full attention and twice is recommended. It’s like reading a heavy novel. There’s a lot to digest and piece together. Each frame, each scene ties well together, painting a world that is on the brink of human extinction. The scariest thing about this film is the internet and the red tape. Some places are just meant to be sealed away.

Why do we connect to the internet? Why do we need to connect with others? Most normal people go about wanting few interactions with people as possible or don’t see a need to fill up the void inside of them. That’s why if humans are too far apart, they are drawn together but get too close, they die. What’s the point of getting close? As Harue Karasawa (character from the film) explains a grad student programming project:

Two dots get too close to each other, they die and if they are too far apart, they are drawn closer together.

That’s the world we live in.

Take a moment to think about this abstract idea. How many times have you been honest with a friend but only end up hurting them instead? What’s the point of friendship then?

For horror fans, I don’t need to tell you to watch it because you might have already seen it, especially if you fall into the millennial age group. Japanese horror was a sensation back then. I remember the The Ring terrified many in theater including myself and I became interested in Japanese horror ever since.

One thing I took out from this film is that if I ever need to feel the need to connect with anyone, it might be wise just to turn off the device and connect with real people. Don’t glorify loneliness. It’s eternal death. Humans are no different from ghosts if we are pacing back in form in our rooms, trapped in the internet world.

Savage Streets (1984) Review: The Hunting Bow Heroine

I’ve been thinking a lot about films and I’m beginning to really enjoy the medium. It’s like poetry. It’s full of imagery and it gets to the point, especially someone like me who is on the go and dislike details. I guess I’m a bit savage myself–me think in few words and like simplicity.

According to Miss Young, the school teacher in this film, poetry contains the following:

  • Rhythm
  • Rhyme
  • Meaning

I could see it. There are few catchy phrases that were cheesy but entertaining. The right songs are played in each scene, echoing the edginess theme. Lastly, the film has a good message. We could all take some notes from Brenda, the fiery protagonist played by Linda Blair who also starred in that terrifying film called The Exorcist. She is bold, daring but just. And she is only a teenager–a teenager who dares to lit a cigarette in the classroom and tells her sentimental poetry teacher to back off. As she said, teachers only know their students for 1-2 hours. They don’t know them on a personal level and what they are capable of. Grr…feisty.

[Okay! Forgive me for my poetry rant. Let’s talk about the film.]

Savage Streets is at its savageness. It’s a comedy/drama that’s not to be taken seriously. Unless you are a teenager reading this review, you may find the film offensive. Why? Because teenagers don’t really know anything in life other than peer pressure and seeking one’s identity and purpose in life. Unless you had a rough life like Brenda where you are forced to grow up fast, then that’s a different story. Brenda has to be tough because she got a deaf mute sister to care for. It’s no surprise she takes the lead among her female friends. She is like the hunting bow of the streets with her pack, walking in the night fiercely and patrolling the streets from injustice. Like Scorpion from Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion, she is on a mission to put bad boys in their place. Brenda doesn’t wait for the law to set things straight and offer her justice. Instead, she gives that neanderthal, punk villain Jake what he deserves. She hunts and strikes that barbaric savage down with her sharp arrow. I could hear her say through her eyes: “I got you bad boy!” Like a true heroine, she defends the weak from the domineering apes that prowl the streets.

I can’t tell you exactly what happened in the film because that would ruin the fun. Watch this film with friends, significant other, or by yourself and I am pretty sure you would get angry but then have a great laugh. Well depending on your sense of humor. Mine is pretty morbid. Overall, fun film to watch–a few outrageous scenes and nudity that don’t make any sense other then the fact it’s there for eye candy. On a second thought, it might not be a good idea to watch with an easily jealous girlfriend. There’s nothing more annoying than being accused of stealing someone’s boyfriend like in Brenda’s case. It’s not Brenda’s fault that men foolishly gravitate towards her hotness. I guess some men just want to get burn.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) Review: The Anti-Material Girl

Should I have changed my title for this review to a story about a Classy but Penniless Gold Digger who Can’t Survive on her Own? That would mislead the readers on what I think about the beloved character Holly played by Audrey Hepburn. To call her a gold digger is far from the truth. However, at a glance it’s hard not to judge since that was the first impression I got from looking at the cover despite what critics say and what my older peers thought. In fact an older woman recommended this film to me. Now I see why.

Before I provide you my personal input about this classic film, let’s talk about the plot. It’s not all bad as it sounds if you are a carefree-loving wild cat and are on the liberal side of life. This film is about an unmarried woman who appears to be happy. She’s wild, fun, and entertaining. But underneath it all–she needs help more than anything. For example, she doesn’t know how to budget money; she makes her living through entertaining sugar daddies; She throws lavish parties; and doing things out of the norm. Sometimes I wonder how a classy gal can afford such things. Then again, her acquaintances have big money. Also being beautiful has its perks. She draws men to her like moths to a bright lamp at night. Even her neighbor, a writer struggling to make it big–named Paul Varjak, comes to her aid when she needs him. What a lucky girl just for being beautiful. In the end, she settled with Paul out of love when she could have picked one of her millionaire acquaintances, which makes this film a heart warming story. All it took for Holly to say yes to Paul is the prized ring found in the Cracker Jack box. The particular scene where the Tiffany’s sales clerk agrees to engrave the initial on the Cracker Jack’s ring for 10 dollars implies that love doesn’t have a set price. And most importantly, what is the probability of finding love? It’s worth more than all the diamonds you can buy. It’s a bold statement to women that you don’t always need diamonds to feel loved.

In conclusion, films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s point out the cold hard truth to material women. What it got right about love is that “love is plenty enough,” I quote from the film. Now that’s gold because to love is a rare emotion that some of us might never experience in our lifetime. So why trade the emotion for material security to fill the empty void in our hearts? What women really need is emotional security. The film says no to material things, but yes to immaterial things. How ironic is that, considering Tiffany’s is a jewelry store? The writer Paul Varjak is the jewelry store. He makes her feel like a diamond. Great metaphor! Overall, I love this film!

***

Enjoyed this review? Want more of Audrey Hepburn? Please check out my other review:

The Children’s Hour Review: When Lesbian Is Not Sexualized