Titanic (1997)

James Cameron takes on the infamous Titanic story, the greatest maritime disaster of its time and one that still holds a fascination for the public, even though, by today’s standards, we’ve had bigger ships.   Part of the mystic around this particular sinking, is the hubris of man, and the claim that the ship was unsinkable.

The story starts off with a treasure hunting salvage crew attempting to locate a highly valuable jewel that is believed to have gone down with the Titanic – the heart of the ocean.   They find what they believe is the safe with it inside, but instead find a drawing of a beautiful topless lady with the jewel around her neck.  The make an appeal on television and a 101 year old woman claims it is her.

She is then flown out to the salvage ship, at the position of where the Titanic went down and she then tells the story of that night.  The rest of the movie is the retelling of that story.  

Kate Winslet plays Rose, the young 101 year old, who is due to marry into a very wealthy family to a man that she isn’t really in love with. 

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack, a young man who won his Titanic ticket in a card game and represents the steerage, or lower classes of the ship.

Through these two characters we see the disparity in how different the classes are treated even though they are all in one ship in the middle of the ocean.  A micro sphere of society represented in a single lump of iron.

Jack and Rose through a series of events, are soon attracted to one another, and after a very heavy love making scene in a car in the hold of the ship, they believe they have found their true love.   Except, a big dirty ice berg is about to put a dent in their plans.

The graphics and special effects of this tale is stunning, and while the movie is nearly 20 years old, they are still holding up.  Though if you look carefully, in high definition you can see some chinks in the special effects especially around the long sweeping shots of the ship and the people walking on the deck.

Maybe its aged differently, but for me the story line while interesting didn’t hold up as well I remember.  The lines at times seem strained and the love story has so many blatant holes in it I can no longer gloss over them.  The telling of the ship going down though is fantastic with many real true tales weaved into some the auxiliary characters.   But the main Jack/Rose vehicle that is suppose to let us see all the gory details, doesn’t work for me.

The soundtrack is amazing and Celine Dion’s My Heart will go will always make me pause for a smile.   Overall a good retelling of the classic story.

ps for the record, there was plenty of room on that old piece of wood that Rose managed to climb on to.  There was no need for Jack to be still in the water.  Sure they nearly tipped over getting on to it the first time, but when you are stuck in the middle of the Atlantic in the freezing cold, you can afford a number of tries

#88 in the series


Viewing Date
Saturday, 14th November 2015 (Richmond)


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Author: Alan Williamson

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