I’ve Finally Seen ‘Titanic’ and Now My Head Hurts

Before I begin this review let me tell you that yes, I know the gist of Titanic. SPOILERS AHEAD! I knew that the film was practically the greatest love story ever told and I knew that Jack (Leonardo Dicaprio) dies. And yet despite knowing these things because the movie is one of most iconic films ever made I still found myself swept along this very tragic cruise ride.

Titanic Movie Facts | POPSUGAR Entertainment

The first hour and thirty minutes are rather typical, albeit a little magical, as we meet the protagonists of the story, Jack and Rose, as well as the film’s primary antagonist, Cal. Jack and Rose meet, among unexpectedly stressful circumstances, and instantly tension between the two blossoms. Rose is Cal’s fiancé but like all great love stories this is not the man she wants to be with. Instead she is quite literally swept off her feet by baby-faced Dicaprio whose good looks and infectious charm win her over easily. Like I said before, the first half of the film goes along pretty expectedly. It was the second half that made this film an undoubted Best Picture winner.

As we all know, the Titanic hits an iceberg and after that James Cameon agonizingly takes his time as slowly all hell breaks loose. In any other circumstance, I would have abhorred the film’s second act with its bloated, drawn-out conclusion to a story whose ending we already know. And yet this movie, a true work of moviemaking art that epitomized drama to a level rarely seen in cinema, made it work.

As every minute grows closer to the inevitable the movie, like the boat, upends, until you’re staring at the screen in pure wide-eyed horror. Honestly, I was clutching my pearls for the last thirty minutes of that movie because it was that distressing.

The crash of the Titanic is honestly one of the most devastating tragedies in all of American history and James Cameron does not shy away from letting you understand the gravitas of that fact.

Blame 'Star Wars': Titanic Is the Widest New Film in Release This Week |  IndieWire

Of course, by the end, I couldn’t stop weeping, hence my pounding headache. The last fifteen minutes are agonizingly sad and the final frames leave one wanting to curl up in a ball and wail. I honestly have not cried that hard watching a movie since Braveheart, another epic classic, and that alone is props to this film.

Will I ever watch Titanic again? Not likely. Do I finally appreciate it? Yes. Yes, I do.

95 out of 100 and 4.5 out 5 stars.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a splendid day.

6 thoughts on “I’ve Finally Seen ‘Titanic’ and Now My Head Hurts”

  1. I saw it twice in the theater back in 1997-98 and once again during the 3D rerelease, in addition to a couple times on home video. What always impacted me the most was the level of historical detail, and the character study of how all the various passengers react differently during the crisis. Stuff like the boat captain going down with the ship, the wealthy people wearing their finest clothes to die in and the musicians playing through it. Siskel & Ebert pointed out something very observant, that the trajectory of the Jack and Rose romance is actually used as a device to let the viewer tour the entire ship, from steerage to first class to the boiler rooms. So it helps add to the usefulness of the movie as an historical document, while making the tour less boring. The accuracy of the reconstruction truly makes you feel like you’ve been on the ship.

    I was always surprised that the ship tipped upward the way it did. It looked odd to me. Later I remember reading that scientists determined that didn’t really happen, and it remained at a flatter angle as it sunk. I think another inaccuracy that was found out later is that the damage to the ship was not a long gash, but a much smaller puncture the size of a refrigerator.

    The stuff in the movie with the underwater ROVs was very reminiscent of Cameron’s earlier The Abyss. I think The Abyss still stands as the one movie in Cameron’s filmography that brings together all of his obsessions and trademarks…underwater exploration, strong female characters, alien life, exoskeleton technology, nuclear weapons, a distrust of the military, elaborate action scenes, blue collar heroes and the desire to invent new special effects technology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Slightly off there. It’s true that there wasn’t one long continuous gash, but there was indeed a long series of punctures, because the reason the ship sank was (as the movie illustrated) that the damage was to one too many watertight compartments. The ship’s watertight barriers only went all the way to the deck on the first four, because they never figured a puncture further back would flood that high because it wouldn’t make the ship tilt. Trouble was, if you did have a ship-tilting incident that hit one of the short walls, it wasn’t enough. Which is exactly what happened.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I see the cumulative size of the gashes in the boat was about the size of a refrigerator, but they were spread out across different compartments. When the ship hits the iceberg in the movie, it shows several interior shots where a long length of the wall is sliced through and water pours in, even knocking some crew members over. I’m not sure if those shots are accurate to what happened.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Titanic is one of those old classics where I’d say it probably rates a little higher than a 4, and I’m getting stingier and stingier about breaking out of the 1-4 bell curve between 0 and 5 lately. But this is one I think could deserve to break that curve a little. I hadn’t thought of the “historical tour” part, though, that’s kinda clever.

    Liked by 1 person

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