Never letting go of James Cameron Classic: ‘Titanic’ At 20


Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox

Co-stars, Kate Winslet, and Leonardo DiCaprio pose for a promotional shot of the film.

Ethan Neal, Reporter

To those of you who were around to witness 1997 in its fullest, the upcoming anniversary of a “titanic” film on Dec. 19 may leave you wondering how the years moved by so quickly. Without a doubt, it is merely fact that the on-screen voyage is one of the most iconic pieces of cinematography released in the last twenty years. From the heartfelt theme, “My Heart Will Go On,” sung by Celine Dion, to the memorable one liners popularized by characters Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt, ‘Titanic’ seems to be the film which gives us moments to reflect, laugh, panic, hold on, and of course, to collectively cry.

The three hour and 15 minute epic continues to remain atop as the second highest grossing movie of all time, achieving a massive total of over $2 trillion worldwide. Yet, even today, the story between two unlikely lovers onboard of the much celebrated, R.M.S., still embarks for a sailing legacy toward 2017, through spirit of course. Though, what precisely is ‘Titanic,’ and why should it be news again, two decades later?

James Cameron, the mind behind ‘Titanic,’ serving as both the director and screenplay writer of the film, masterfully established a story based on the historically accurate and tragic occurrence, leaving approximately 1,500 passengers to their death after an iceberg had struck the side of the ship, causing overwhelming damage.

Maintaining the historical importance, for the purpose of the cinema and public interest, Cameron attached several fictitious characters into the 1912 disaster. Jack Dawson, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a third class artist who make ends meet by illustrating nude girls across Europe. Dawson is one of the two protagonists in ‘Titanic.’ Our second protagonist, Rose Dewitt, portrayed by Kate Winslet, spends life at the top of total hierarchy, wearing lavish dresses, being surrounded by well known works of art, and speaking proper English. However, despite living first class, Rose is facing an existential crisis. Forced to wed her arranged and abusive fiance, Cal Hockley, the 17-year-old realizes the harsh reality that the rest of her days will be spent unhappy with Cal.

Drama unfolds, as suicide is contemplated on the rail of the ship. Then suddenly, out of the blue, two of the most opposite passengers aboard the R.M.S. Titanic unexpectedly meet. Jack and Rose dive into conversation instead of freezing water. Exchanging names and stories, a life is saved, and more importantly, a friendship is formed. In the remainder of the film, the couple have the time of their young lives, dancing to hand in hand, attending socialite gatherings, and flying together, as if they were the king and queen of the world. Subsequently, the fun wrecks at the height of their excitement.

The supposedly “unsinkable” vessel slowly submerges deep into the ocean in only a matter of hours. Closer than ever before, Jack and Rose fight to not only stay alive out of the wreckage, but by the last hour of the film, the two protagonists fight, because for the first time, love has been a form of desire and attachment, not by art nor by force. As ‘Titanic’ comes to an end, the viewer cannot believe the series of events, which have unfolded in front of their eyes. Was it only a dream? Was the door too weak? Both questions remind us of the brilliance that is ‘Titanic.’

For the twentieth anniversary of a brilliant film, on Nov. 15, the official Twitter handle of the ‘Titanic’ film posted a tweet announcing the surprise return of ‘Titanic,’ in theaters once more. Starting on the Dec. 1, the film will be seen showcased exclusively at AMC Theaters across the United States. In addition, for the first time under the direction of James Cameron, Titanic will be viewed with the enhancement of Dolby HDR, alongside the altering effects of 3-D.

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Co-stars, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kate Winslet pose for a promotional shot of the film.
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