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Movie Review: Titanic

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Nominated for 14 Academy Awards and winner of 11 including Best Picture, Titanic became a worldwide phenomenon upon its release in 1997. Written and directed by James Cameron, the producer behind such hits as Terminator 2 and True Lies, the film chronicles the tragic 1912 sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage while interweaving a classic love story.

At 194 minutes, it’s probably the longest commercial blockbuster in recent memory. The sinking of the ship mirrors the real life time-line of the original sinking of the Titanic and that’s the reason for the three-hour plus running time (or at least, that’s what I’ve heard). Nevertheless, unless you’re absolutely disgusted by overly idealistic love stories, it’s a film well worth watching.

Titanic centers around the life of Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), a young woman on board the celebrated launch of Titanic, the world’s largest luxury ship and a vessel believed to be indestructible. Accompanied by her social-climbing mother Ruth (Frances Fisher) and her arrogantly wealthy fiancé Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane), Rose is bound for the beauty and sophistication of Continental Europe.

Her trip, and her life, take an unexpected turn when she encounters Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a vagabond artist with no money, zero social status, and a zest for life. Against the wishes of Ruth, Rose and Jack fall in love, incurring the wrathful vengeance of Caledon. But, in the end, only a disaster of epic proportions can break the couple apart.

With a number of standout performances by a star-studded cast, including previous Academy Award winner Kathy Bates in the role of “new money” heiress Molly Brown, Titanic is a truly memorable film. The scope and opulence of the fabled ship is simply breathtaking, and the costumes and props form a brilliant kaleidoscope of images from the past.

Although an overblown and idealistic teenage love story was the true focus of the film, Titanic created enough action and suspense during the sinking to keep viewers who aren’t interested in such plots interested. Inevitably, most viewers will envision themselves in the midst of such circumstances, wondering how they would react. Parts of the film are narrated from the perspective of a present day speaker, and the flashback sequences are combined to good effect. Overall, it makes for an outstanding film.

James Horner composed the musical score for Titanic. His efforts are one reason the film experienced such widespread success. With a number of brilliant and original scores already to his credit -– Field Of Dreams (1989), Legends Of The Fall (1994), and Braveheart (1995) all come to mind -– Horner expands upon his unique voice by creating a soundtrack that combines the lazy breeze of an Iowa cornfield with the majestic plains of Scotland.

Celine Dion provides the breakout performance of her career with the hit single “My Heart Will Go On,” which in the movie is paired with the most famous scene from the film in which Jack and Rose stand on the bow of the Titanic and pretend to fly.

Not surprisingly, I’ve learned that in the years since, many tourists have lost their lives trying to mimic them. So I don’t recommend you try that! But I do advise watching Titanic. If you can sit through the sappy, melodramatic love scenes and the accompanying dialogue, you’ll be blown away by the special effects, the costumes, the set, and the soundtrack.

Britt’s Rating: 9.1/10.0

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About Britt Gillette

  • Chelle

    First of all that is why people really don’t go to the theater anymore, movies don’t concentrate on people or stories anymore. It’s always more about the special effects and what else we can explode and who can we kill cool enough. Titanic worked and still works with audiences of all kinds. Why? you unromantic and person may ask, Because of the story. Yes it may have been the classic story of poor guy meets sad rich girl story, but it kept us in. It made us worry about the characters until the end, we cried with the ending and one of the major reasons was the story of Jack and Rose. The story gave us a since of understanding for the rest of the people on the real ship. If we just had a film about thousands of people dying and that is it, no story no interest, only for the macho men who only want to see something break in half. the story was great, in my opinion it worked. Do you really think it made over 1.8 billion dollars just because it shows the boat going down? People had to been going over and over again to see it, if they really just wanted to see the special effects, do you think they would sit through almost two hours of what reviewrs called sappy and melodramatic dialouge just to see a boat sink?! Again? The story between Jack and Rose was beautiful, it showed the kind of love that does not happen anymore. Maybe that is why reviwers like the ones that like to complain about the love story, don’t understand it. Titanic caputred audiences all over the world and different people and it still does. My younger sister who was only seven at the time when it came out in theaters, now she is 16 and saw it a few weeks ago and fell in love with the story and the great ship. She has seen that movie I think about 20 times.If you don’t think that is a magical film than I don’t know what is. The great story and the special effect combined delivered an unforgettable film, I love it.

  • The reason why this story clicks is its universal theme and story. The special effects are fantastic, but it is the human drama and battle against the odds that makes it a winner. Oh, and there’s Kate for the boys and Leo for the girls. A real no-brainer!

  • Wow…I really remember being ridiculously obsessed with Leo at the time. And now I can’t quite understand why.

  • The saddest part of the entire film is not the end of the movie, when Jack dies, or the nostalgic moment when old Rose tosses the Heart of the Ocean into the water. It’s when the Irish mom is putting her two kids to bed, telling them of Tir Na Nog and the land of plenty that will be waiting for them, as the water flows into steerage. And when the old couple lie down together on the bed, one last time, holding each other.

    People died on that ship, because of human arrogance and hubris. The sappy love story is not the point.

  • The movie succeeds in large part because it tells a number of different stories, so almost every viewer can find in it a story that fits their personal worldview. Even those who tend to denigrate everyone else’s worldviews.

  • nicola

    brillent the film was brillent

    i love the fil so much i had 2 buy the dvd twice cos i watched the film soo mant times it was goin out off colour and the disk was scratched!

    bot omg it is such a upterdate verson of that sad event.