If you’re in MANILA, you probably know why I’m writing this post. For the past few weeks, it seems like “Titanic” has been on TV every single day. And I can back this up, because every time I turn my television on, it’s most definitely playing. Thank you StarMovies from bringing this back for us to appreciate. If you’re active on social media (more particularly, twitter), it seems that so many people (young and old) are still pretty into the film. Maybe even more then people were back when it was forced released in December 1997, all throughout 1998. And it made me wonder why. Sure, “Titanic” is a great movie, but why does is stand the test of time compared to other 1990s Best Picture flicks like “The English Patient” (1996) or even my beloved “Shakespeare in Love” (1998)? I broke it down to seven reasons why “Titanic” remains to a true classic, one that people will never forever. Love it, hate it, this film is a landmark movie in motion history.
A very powerful performance from it’s lead actress, Kate Winslet turns out to be the driving force of the entire motion picture. I can’t say much for Leo, because he wasn’t too seasoned yet, but he did what he had to. Kate Winslet on the other hand, was fantastic. Despite her strong fandom (I’ll get some backlash from “Eternal Sunshine” fans for sure), her portrayal of Rose De Witt Bukater is most probably still her career best. As we all know, Rose is the poor-little-rich-girl, trapped in a loveless engagement to a billionaire, when she boards the doomed ship. On board, she is miraculously “saved” (in every way possible) by the poorer Jack Dawson, which their romance and survival, the film rotates around. Winslet wasn’t only very good, she became Rose. Her acting was pitch perfect, from the her Upper Class Philadelphia accent, to her romantic scenes, and even the more stressful scenes where her body acted for her. Perfect.
The everlasting romance, that the film circles around (which leads to their motive of trying to survive together), gives the film an emotional kick. When you read about the movie, more often then not, your reading about Jack and Rose’s romance.
It’s so friggin’ quotable. “I’m the king of the world!” “I’ll never let go, Jack.” “I’m flying!” “To making it count.” “I rather be his whore then your wife.” “Ice berg, right ahead!” “You know I didn’t do it, Rose. You know me!” “The Titanic was called…the ship of dreams. And it was, it really was.” “Women and children, first!” “-Where to, miss? – To the stars.” “I want you to draw me in this, only this.” And that’s only from the top of my head! I’m 100% sure some of the lines still linger in your mind. Though the screenplay isn’t exactly Shakespeare, you gotta admit that James Cameron provided us with some of the most popular lines of all time and because of that “Titanic” became…
ICONIC. To go with its script of iconic one liners, the movie boasts fantastic visuals and sounds (cinematography, costumes and sets) that happens to be some of the most popular ever put on screen. Yes, it’s a grand production and most of the things portrayed in the disaster romance flick was necessary to show. But every just looked so damn good. The staging of the drama is perfect and it remains to stay in your mind even after seeing the picture. “Titanic” is also one of those movies where you know what’s going to happen next because you know it so well. Even if you’re not a big movie buff, you know that Kate Winslet will precisely appear behind Leonardo DiCaprio as he looks towards the horizon, the music will play during the sunset (a instrumental version with a hum of “My Heart Will Go On”), she says “I’ve changed my mind”, and he tells her to come nearer and he makes her believe she’s flying, the music builds up until we zoom out to a sunken ship back to real time, when Old Rose is telling the story. The world James Cameron painted for us remains in our memory, rightfully. It’s iconic status is one thing a hater can never take from it.
Titanic’s visual effects are still effective. Unlike some movies that are newer (with so-called “better technology”) but doesn’t seem to be nearly as flawless. Throughout the film, you don’t doubt that the “Titanic” is really sinking. And don’t forget a lot of it is in CGI. Still, we feel like it’s so real. Can you even believe that this movie is nearly 16 years old?! You can’t tell when you watch it. It’s still as thrilling and effective as possible. To back me up, re-watch 2008’s “Iron Man” where in some of the scenes, the visuals has not been too good to it, unfortunately. And that was only 5 years ago too…
The wonderful direction of movie pioneer James Cameron, gave the film heart. You can tell that this was the filmmaker’s baby. Come on, no other James Cameron film has not been sic-fi except for “Titanic”. And he’s really effective too. He was able to drive out fantastic performances from the cast, shoot large scenes, get a team of magicians together to tell a story, and direct thousands and thousands of people. Now that’s unbelievable. Apart from directing, did I mention that he also produced, wrote AND edited this nearly 4 hour film!? Now that’s work! One last thing, he spent his salary for the production, which was going over-budget. It was a huge gamble…until the movie was the first to make a billion dollars.
The sappy ending of the film most certainly gave the film a bittersweet conclusion. I can give spoiler away, because if you haven’t seen the movie, then I’m sorry to say that you’ve been living under a rock. So Jack and Rose are in the Atlantic, the ship has gone under. After finding a door (which duh, can support them both), Rose gets on and they have a talk. Jack remains in the freezing cold water and makes her promise that “she’ll die an old lady in her bed, with lots of children” and yadayadayada. There Jack dies, Rose promises to “never let go” and is found by a returning life boat and is saved. When we’re back to real time, Old Rose finishes her story and isn’t aware of the location of the Heart of the Ocean, that’s where the explorer’s wrap up. What they don’t know is that it’s in Old Rose’s possession all along, where she casually drops it back into the ocean, where it belongs. Like her promise to Jack, she goes back to bed, as the camera pans over her photographs of her achievements in life, and dies. Here, we enter a dream sequence (which the audience presumes as “heaven”) and Rose walks through the Titanic back in 1912 until she reaches the ballroom where everyone who has died awaits for her to be reunited with Jack. Sappy ending, eh? Effect though.