Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Thoughts on Titanic

For what it's worth, there will be spoilers in this entry, though I'm sure everyone knows how the film ends.

I felt compelled to write this after seeing that Titanic was airing on Peachtree TV. I am sitting in my living room watching the last hour right now, at this moment, Cal is about to use a crying child to secure his spot on a lifeboat. "Please, I'm all she has in the world." Clever, yet despicable. I actually own the movie on DVD, so I'm not entirely sure why I have an edited version, with extensive commercial breaks no less, on, but I do have a tendency to do that.

I was obsessed with this movie when I was seven years old. By that time, everyone seemed to have "Titanic-fever", and I just HAD to see it. I read everything I could about the ship itself, the passengers, the iceberg-I was a real Titanic expert as a kid. It seemed like I was one of the last people to actually see the movie, but my Mom took me to see it in theatres, and it was the best movie I'd ever seen. Even as a kid, I knew Jack would die, but I was mesmerized by the love story, the ship, the sinking, the dead bodies...everything! Plus it was the first movie I'd ever seen that showed kissing and nudity (eww...they're kissing! This was in the midst of my 'I'll hug my husband on our wedding day' phase.). It was my favourite movie for years.

I've grown up a lot since then. I've decided that I can probably manage kissing my husband should I ever decide to get married. I've also come to realize that Titanic is a rather silly movie. I still enjoy it, and I'll probably even cry at the end tonight when Jack dies...but I recognize that it is a bit ridiculous. I consider myself a romantic. But this movie stretches my romantic limit. They knew each other for 5 freaking days. I'm sure 3-4 of those days were pretty cool. Yes, having sex in a car must have also been a pretty nice way to pass the time as well. But would you jump out of a life boat onto a sinking ship for a man you knew for five days?

It is established in the film that they loved each other. I haven't decided how I feel about the notion of love at first sight. Sometimes I believe in it, most times I don't. But they loved each other on some level, and it would be hard to leave on a lifeboat, knowing that the person you loved was on the sinking ship. But after five days...would you potentially condemn yourself to death because you didn't want to leave without them? Plus, when you really, truly love someone, you want them to be safe, even if you aren't. Yeah, Jack told Rose she was stupid for jumping out of the boat, but I'd think if the man I loved did something like that, I'd be rather pissed off at them. If I can't be saved, but they can, I'd want them to go without me. Even if they feel guilty, even if they want to stay with me, I'd place their safety and well being first. Plus, I think I'd die of guilt if someone I loved jumped out of a lifeboat after I told them to go to safety, just because they didn't want to go without me.

I've been thinking a lot these past few minutes about the movie. It's about young love. And I think the story is told with a bit of nostalgia to it. We all have that love story that ended for some reason, that we look back on with a hint of nostalgia. In Rose's case, they didn't have the time to argue or break up or go through the "rough patches", because all they had were five days, and Jack died. But Rose moved on, and she had a great life. She told this big love story at the very end of her life, and that seems to make it clear that she didn't dwell on it. I like that, because it showed that she didn't spend the rest of her life thinking about five great days she had with some guy on a ship that sunk.

But despite all the silliness...James Cameron sure knows how to make them. Titanic's special effects were amazing for its time, and Avatar's special effects are revolutionary today. At this point, I'm thinking Cameron will probably win the best director Oscar, and I think he deserves it based on the amazing technology in the film alone. Say what you will about Cameron, but when he makes a movie, he knocks it out of the park. They're epic, and they get the crowds into the seats. So kudos to James Cameron.

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