Through the lens: 5 must-watch movies for a true London experience

  • AFP, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 02, 2016 09:54 IST
Experience London through the cinematic lens. (Shutterstock)

Seeing the world no lo longer requires you to leave the comforts of your home and take an arduous journey. You take on the adventure of a lifetime while sitting comfortably on your sofa.

This time round, we take you to the glorious and historic British capital as explored through these five international movies you can’t not watch.

Recent flick: London Has Fallen

After saving Washington, the US President, played by Aaron Eckhart, and Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) must foil an international terrorist plot to wipe out the world’s most powerful leaders, gathered to attend a funeral in the British capital.

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Famous London monuments like Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster can all be seen onscreen, as well as Somerset House and the famous neighborhoods of Soho and Mayfair. The movie was released earlier this year and is now out on DVD and Blu-ray.

Classic must-see: Notting Hill

The London neighbourhood of Notting Hill found fame the world over in 1999 thanks to this romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Its main thoroughfare, Portobello Road, takes center stage with its antiques market and famous coloured doors, including one particular blue door (since repainted white) that’s home to the film’s main character, a travel bookstore owner.

A different view: 28 Days Later

Danny Boyle’ 2002 post-apocalyptic thriller, 28 Days Later, captures an impressive London landscape, showing the city entirely deserted. It’s a great chance to catch a glimpse of usually busy tourist hotspots like Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street and Westminster Bridge, totally devoid of traffic and people.

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The director filmed the desolate scenes very early on Sunday mornings, closing off sections of street for a few minutes at a time.

One for the kids: Mary Poppins

Thanks to this nanny with magical powers, millions of children have discovered the city of London as it was in the early 20th century. Soaring over the city with her magical flying umbrella, Mary Poppins takes kids on an original guided tour, with a bird’s eye view of the British capital. However, the Disney movie was entirely filmed in 1964 in The Burbank Studios, California, USA.

Historical setting: An Education

Danish director Lone Scherfig chose 1960s London as the setting for her 2009 romantic drama starring Carrey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard. The movie follows a 16-year-old schoolgirl who discovers a city beyond Ealing, a residential suburb of Victorian houses, when she meets a man twice her age and steps into the prestigious homes and luxury boutiques of Mayfair.

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