A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.
84 years later, a 100 year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater tells the story to her granddaughter Lizzy Calvert, Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell and Anatoly Mikailavich on the Keldysh about her life set in April 10th 1912, on a ship called Titanic when young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and her fiancé, Caledon Hockley. Meanwhile, a drifter and artist named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi win third-class tickets to the ship in a game. And she explains the whole story from departure until the death of Titanic on its first and last voyage April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning.Written by
Anthony Pereyra <email@example.com>
Ranks first in the Academy Award Most Nominated Films List with 14 nominations, tying with All About Eve (1950) and La La Land (2016). La La Land (2016) is the only out of the three films to not win Best Picture. See more »
At the Southampton pier, Cal tells Rose that the Titanic is "over a hundred feet longer than [the contemporary Cunard liner] Mauretania." In fact the Mauretania was 790 feet long, only 92 feet shorter than the 882-foot-long Titanic. See more »
Thirteen meters; you should see it.
[seeing the shipwreck come into view for the first time]
OK; take her up and over the bow rail.
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There are no opening credits after the title has been shown. See more »
The Paramount logo starts the film in the U.S. and Canadian versions; the version released in Europe and Asia has the 20th Century Fox logo at the beginning. See more »
The problem director and writer James Cameron faces with a story about the Titanic is that the majority of his audience will know what happens. So to make his audience care, he switches the action and main plot from the ship, to a socially inappropriate love story between Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt Bukater. The trouble is that by incorporating the love story theme into the story, he seems to detract from the feel and humanity that previous Titanic films like A Night to Remember have had. Cameron instead opts for two separate halves to the story rather than melding the two separate elements together. The first half concentrating on building an audience rapour with the two main characters, while the second half concentrates on the special effects fuelled sinking of the doomed liner. This would be forgivable if it weren't for several key factors from the first half, the main weakness being the utterly one dimensional lead characters we are presented with. From Caledon Hockleys loveless millionaire to Rose's trapped innocence to Jack Dawson's poor boy with a dream. Aswell played as these characters are, the performance can't make up for the poorly written characters the actors have been given. Again, with the spectacle of the story of the titanic and the millions of dollars at Cameron's disposal, one could forgive the weakness of the characters, but then the first half of the story is so entirely cliché ridden and full of predictability that it becomes obvious. It is clear that she will leave her safe life and existence and go with the unpredictability of true love. It is almost as though Cameron knows how to tell this story visually, he's just not sure or not capable of making you care about it. Cameron's writing has always come under scrutiny. The comic book quality of films like True Lies and the Terminator films set the scene for his writing style. The childlike quality of some of the dialogue shouldn't but does stand out. "Something Picasso" and Freud, is he a passenger?" are so dire that they belong in a Farrelly Brothers film, not a $200 million blockbuster. Cameron does seem to be writing from the heart, the trouble is that his heart doesn't seem up to the task. "It's pay-day boys" and Dicaprio's now legendary "I'm the king of the world" seem not to be spoken by the characters in the film, but by Cameron himself. He is the master film-maker who can resurrect the Titanic and will make a fortune from it.
Questions that arise on investigation of the film closely are the gaping plot hole of Rose's narration and status as the main narrative agent. If the story we see is told from Rose's perspective, how are we granted access to scenes such as the Captain's death and Hockley and Lovejoy hatching the plan to trap Jack? Again, if the story we are being told is not from Rose's perspective and is a general overview of the events, why are we subjected to Rose's story telling voice over? Perhaps this is being overly critical of what is simply meant to be viewed as popcorn entertainment and indeed, the film isn't entirely without its merits. The hour long sinking of the ship is indeed breathtaking and the film does have probably three genuinely special moments. Winslet and Dicaprio's flying scene, the ship breaking in two and Jack's death which is surprisingly touching and moving. The trouble is, especially in a three hour long film, that these few moments don't make up for the other half of the film. In a three hour film, half is ninety minutes, the average length of a Hollywood film, perhaps Cameron should have sacrificed some of the unnecessary moments and concentrated the story into perhaps just over two hours.
Cameron's back catalogue of films should prepare us for what we are going to see. The Abyss, True Lies and Terminator 2 : Judgement Day show that as a visionary, he can amaze his audience simply by clicking his fingers. The problem lies with his misplaced attempts to try and bring humanity into his stories. In The Abyss, Cameron wants us to care about the relationship between Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio and Ed Harris. In True Lies, we are asked to care about Schwarzenegger's flagging relationship with his wife Jamie Lee Curtis. Similarly in Titanic, we are asked to ignore the special effects and care about the characters relationship. If Cameron were to write a out and out blockbuster that did not need characters require the audience to care, he would probably create one of the most amazing films ever to be seen. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be what he wants to do.
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