When we sit down to read a book or watch a film in a four-walled room, the experience takes us to many places beyond that homebound reality. When in need of a high-school throwback, playing a classic teenage drama solves the matter; and when it's a quick getaway that we wish we could have with our friends right now, we turn to travel movies that instantly transport us to the most idyllic destinations across the world. This weekend, when you can't freely stroll the streets of your favourite cities, or make a holiday plan that would work out in the foreseeable future, get some hot popcorn and catch an expansive glimpse of New York City through five classic Bollywood and Hollywood features.The Age of Innocence (1993)
Adapted from Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer-winning 1920 novel of the same name, The Age of Innocence beautifully captures the mid-1800s Gilded Age in the New York City. Mostly set in Troy, the film is about a wealthy lawyer who is engaged to a socialite, and falls in love with her cousin. The evocative story touches upon the themes of love, passion and social mores in the late 19th-century America.
Streaming on NetflixBreakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Winner of two Academy Awards and loosely based on Truman Capote's novel, Breakfast At Tiffany's is the story of Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), a young woman who “just loves New York”; and her neighbour Paul Varjak (George Peppard), who longs to be a writer. The extremely stylish country girl-turned-Manhattan socialite, Holly is looking for an older, rich man to marry. But after things not turning up in her favour on the marriage front, the movie culminates into one of the best final scenes ever witnessed on celluloid.
Available to buy on Amazon Prime VideoEnglish Vinglish (2012)
Starring late veteran actor Sridevi in the lead role, English Vinglish is a commentary on the role women play in most Indian families. Shashi (Sridevi)—who is considered a typical, conservative homemaker—is visiting her sister's family in New York. When she realises that life is starkly different here, she secretly begins taking English language classes in an attempt to have a personal identity which is not that of a mother or wife. As her journey in the city progresses, viewers get a glimpse of Manhattan through the eyes of a hesitant Indian woman with small, but meaningful dreams.
Streaming on ZEE5 and EROS NowTaxi Driver (1976)
The classic thriller is the story of a lonely New York City cabbie who suffers from insomnia. Soon, as he starts detaching himself from reality, he turns into a vigilante trying to save the world. The young man's thoughts now involve plotting to assassinate a presidential candidate, and more. Viewers get to see the iconic landmarks of a 1900s New York through a taxi driver who does nothing but take to the streets.
Streaming on DIRECTVManhattan (1979)
If there's one great homage that presents the Big Apple in a wonderfully idolised and romanticised fashion, it's Woody Allen's Manhattan. The film features Allen as Isaac, a television writer; Meryl Streep as Jill, his ex-wife who leaves him for another woman; and Mariel Hemingway as Tracy, a 17-year-old girl who Isaac is dating. As their complex romantic journeys and the bittersweet plot with a touch of humour unfold, we're taken through a panoramic montage of New York, as rarely seen in any other film.
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