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A Well Earned 11 Academy Awards!!!
Titanic  (DVD)
Member Name: kirstieksf
Titanic  (DVD)
Date: 26/11/00, updated on 26/11/00 (119 review reads)
Advantages: Everything about it
Disadvantages: Based on a real tragedy
When 'Titanic' was released in 1997, I didn't exactly rush to see it. I wasn't a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio (although I am now!), had barely heard of Kate Winslet, and already knew what happened to the ship. But after constant raves from my friends I decided to watch it after all. I'd missed it at the cinema by then, so I asked for the video as a Christmas present the following year. I still didn't watch it until a couple of months later, when a rainy Sunday afternoon found me needing to occupy a few hours. Oh well, I thought. Why not see what's so special about 'Titanic'?
So what *is* so good about it? Well, it's not the first film about the sinking of the RMS Titanic, but it's the best I've seen. Hopefully this opinion will explain in due course. But I think the fact that the film walked away with 11 Academy Awards, including one for 'Best Picture' speaks for a lot.
So on to the story. We all probably know the basic story of the Titanic - the 'unsinkable' White Star Line ship, which sank on April 15th 1912, after colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. 2200 people were on board the Titanic, and 1500 of them died, largely because there were not enough lifeboats, and many of the boats were launched more than half empty.
The film itself - you probably know by now that the two main stars are Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, who play penniless artist Jack Dawson, and Rose DeWitt Bukater. Jack won two tickets for the crossing in a poker game, and is travelling with his best friend, Fabrizio (Danny Nucci) and Rose is returning to America to marry her fiancÚ Cal Hartley (Billy Zane). Cal is wealthy, and set to inherit more millions, and as Rose's father died leaving her mother and herself with no money, but their good name and reputation, Rose is about to marry Cal, who she does not love, and who is controlling and manipulative, having been forced into the ma
rriage by her mother.
Obviously if they are to fall in love, Jack and Rose need to meet, and this is accomplished when Rose runs out onto the deck, planning to jump overboard, after a particularly heated argument with Cal. Jack is also up on deck, and on realising what Rose plans to do, talks her out of it, by telling her that he's involved now, and that if she jumps, he has to jump too, to try and save her.
I'm not going to go into detail about the rest of the plot, but suffice it to say that the film follows the story of Jack and Rose's relationship as it develops over the course of the voyage.
The characters of Jack and Rose are both well written, as indeed are almost all of the leading characters. Some have said that cal is portrayed as being too one dimensional, but I didn't find this to be so. I also don't agree with those who say that Leonardo DiCaprio was miscast as Jack, and that he was too young looking for the part. It's important to remember that Rose is supposed to be 17, so Jack is most likely only a little older, and at about 22/23 when 'Titanic' was filmed, I would say Leonardo DiCaprio was almost a perfect choice for the role, as was Kate Winslet for the role of Rose. Both actors breathe life into their roles, and make them more than just fictional characters - they became for me, at least, people who were real, and who I cared about.
'Titanic' is more than a love story, and more than an action movie, in that it is based around reality, and that it raises some important questions about the tragedy of the Titanic. For example, why weren't there enough lifeboats, and why were the already limited numbers of lifeboats, which had a capacity of 65 passengers launched with as few as 12 passengers, when many more people could have been saved? Why were men from the first class sections able to buy a seat in the boats, before even the women and children had left the ship? And wh
y were the first and second class passengers allowed to board the lifeboats before those in steerage and third class? Why were 6 ice warnings on the evening of the collision ignored, and why was the ship's speed increased when it was known that the area contained icebergs? There are many if's, but what is known is that many more people could have survived if the rules had been adhered to, and sufficient lifeboats had been available, and filled to capacity.
Writer and director James Cameron took an enormous amount of care in the making of 'Titanic', even going so far as to have a full size replica of the ship (although only one half of it) built, and using almost the same crockery, and furnishings as the original ship. The hundreds of extras add a sense of authenticity to the proceedings, and with the costumes and varied accents, I found it easy to imagine it was 1912 again.
The film is beautifully complimented by James Horner's haunting musical score, consisting of a range of sensitive instrumental pieces, as well as the well known hit 'My Heart Will Go On' performed by Celine Dion. 'Titanic' would have been a brilliant film without the score, but with it, the emotions which are conjured up mean that it is simply breathtaking.
In case you hadn't guessed, I absolutely love this film. When I watch it, Jack and Rose become two people who I really care about, and although I end up crying every time I watch it, it leaves me feeling more contemplative than sad, with the tragedy of the Titanic usually in my mind for some time. I can't recommend this film too highly, and if you haven't seen it already, you must - it's one I will never tire of seeing, and definitely in my top 10 movies list.