Titanic (1997)

reviewed by
Matt Petras

        1997 Matt Petras
Official Site:
Length: 193 min (3:13 hours)
Rating: ***1/2 out of ****

In 1912, a ship set sail on her maiden voyage across the Atlantic for America. This ship was built to be the largest ship in the world, and she was. She was also build to be one of the most luxurious, and that she was. Finally, she was built to be unsinkable and that unfortunately she was not. To get a ticket for this voyage you either: spent a life's savings to get to America to start life anew, were part of the upper class and had the money to spare, or finally were lucky enough to have a full house in a poker match by the docks like Jack Dawson. Jack Dawson makes the trip, and happens to be at the right place at the right time. Rose DeWitt Bukater, a first class passenger, climbs the railings at the aft of the ship with thoughts of jumping. Thus is started a tale of romance and intrigue, and a tale of death and tragedy... This movie is about a tragic event that took place a great many years ago, an even that should not be taken lightly as any other bit of historical trivia. The movie Titanic shows what happened, maybe not with a 100% degree of accuracy, but it still shows it very realisticaly. Now the Titanic is both a story on its own and a backdrop for a story. It serves as both admirably, brining forth an interesting story that although simple in its most simple premise is very captivating. This movie is very emotional simply because of what it is, but that alone is not enough. The story is brought out with a certain style that makes is so much more emotional and so much more effective. Movies such as this will not be forgotten all too quickly and unfortunately then are not something that is produced by Hollywood with any great frequency. The attention to detail that was paid is remarkable. The whole premise for the telling of the story is interesting, with the showing of brand new footage from the wreck of the Titanic adding much flavor to an already good movie. Part of the magical chemistry behind this story is the acting, and for this movie its extremely good acting from the whole cast. The performances put in by the main stars is something to be admired. The characters were played out so memorably that both Leonardo DiCaprip and Kate Winslet should receive at the least nominations for their roles. Looking at the acting done in the movie it seems as if they aren't acting but are actually the characters in the movie. The casting for the movie could really have been better, in my humble opinion that is. One character that will most likely not be mentioned by any other review or commentary about this film is that of the ship itself. Yes, you read correctly, the ship is a character. How is the Titanic a character? you ask well simple, a ship had a certain character about it and as most sailors and boats men will tell you. This character is everything about the ship from its specifications to its luxuries and the Titanic was no stranger to this. Mr. Cameron brings the ship to life in an almost literal sense. All this adds to the movie in a certain way that most Hollywood productions cant seem to grasp. Now, to produce the effect that I mentioned above and to sink the ship itself are feats that are accomplished by special effects wizards. The effects in this movie range from marvelous costumes to beautifully rendered scenes of the ships sinking. In some respects you cannot tell that the effects are there, you simply think that what you see is what happened or what is happening(if your imagination is good). The technical wizardry done in this movie is just spectacular and actually getting new footage from the wreck of the Titanic is unique. The movie will leave you amazed at the effects, and that is a feat since there is no monsters or aliens in this movie, just humans and an oversized ship. The movie will amaze you and it will pull on your emotions, the theater that I went to had a few people leaving with tears in their eyes. Now that is not a feat accomplished by most movies, now the fact that the tragedy actually occurred is brought home with something of a punch, I wont spoil the ending and say what happens regardless it is an interesting movie from beginning to the very end. The historical value of this movie is quite high, and honestly is something that should be watched for the sake of seeing it and seeing the tragedy, for it is extremely well done. The method of telling the story is also good, maybe not totally unique but effective none the less. Regardless of anything mentioned above this movie is a grandiose production and the sheer size of the project undertaken is something to be marveled at. The simple fact that the movie is smashingly successful at what it aims to achieve is just astonishing. If you get the chance to see this movie GO!!! it might not be the best movie in the world.. but it ranks fairly highly and is well worth the time spent watching it. During none of the 3 hours and 13 minutes of the movie are you bored nor does your attention wane from the movie.

December 24, 1997

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