It was in 1997 when the whole world witnessed not only the love story between poor guy Jack Dawson and rich girl Rose Dewitt Bukater, but the sinking of what they call the “unsinkable” ship via James Cameron’s epic masterpiece Titanic. 13 years later, with 11 Oscars and almost 2 billion dollars in the box office, we revisit one of the most phenomenal movies to ever hit the big screen.
First thing first, the 3D version, while I appreciate the repackaging, is nothing to brag about. Cameron and team managed to make it interesting with the 3D versions of the bubbles of the water, the utensils, and the title logo, but they weren’t not that vital in the overall film output. After all, it was just a repackaged 3D version, and it wasn’t really made with 3D effects in mind. However, like all the other fans, this is a rekindled chance to witness an ultimate movie watching experience.
Now, I know most serious critics trash Titanic. After all, what’s there to like about it? It is an effin’ love story. At the end of the day, they can rant about how it was how two people of opposite circumstances developed a relationship in Titanic. The ship, bearing the symbol of dreams, is a huge interpretation of making it in and reaching your dreams. Sure, it did not make you think like LA Confidential (it’s closest competition at the Oscars for Best Picture that year), but Titanic is a film I respect and root for many reasons.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
I don’t think the film has earned the respect it deserves to get. Yeah sure, it has 11 Oscars on it’s mantle (majority, if not all are deserved),and it has a box office record that it held on for over a decade. What I’m referring to that is that despite those things mentioned above, bashers fail to realize that it is doing pretty well in one aspect: the impact. Whether it’s the “I’m the king of the world” howl by Jack Dawson, the nude painting of Rose, or the actual breaking of the ship itself, you can ask a lot of people and there’s something that they can remember from the movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I am, by no means, a Titanic fanboy, but I understand and appreciate where fans are coming from. I notice how thin the screenplay is, and while the last part is merely nothing but visual orgasm, there’s this something about the whole package that made me appreciate and focus on its merits more. That’s probably why I reiterate more on my claim that this is a film that I respect more than I love.
For the longest time, I have been scratching my head off the raves (and Oscar nominations) for Gloria Stuart and Kate Winslet. Stuart still does not make sense to me, and how she was a frontrunner that year alongside eventual winner Kim Basinger is still a head scratcher (She also won the SAG for that, mind you). I found a new admiration for Winslet’s performance, though, and I now see why she got the nom. It was a performance that is clearly impressive especially if you juxtapose the physical and emotional layers she brought to Rose. However, years later, and I still say that di Caprio was robbed of a nom. His Jack is raw and captivating, and there’s this feeling of making Jack a natural character that Leo pulled off with such ease and charisma.
I still prefer this by a mile to Avatar, and while I understand that there’s no need for a competition whatsoever, I feel that Cameron was more in his element here. The third part of the film never lost its magic, and seeing it on the big screen (it was my first time!) earlier this day made me appreciate it more. While in no way does this film makes us think nor does it improve our intellectual capabilities, Titanic made us feel as if we were there with them on their journey. And it was just fantastically spot on in doing that.