James Cameron is known for making pretty great and often pretty revolutionary movies. And this epic love story is no exception. With an epic historical background, this film is really something to behold.
Set on the doomed ship Titanic sailing from England to New York, young posh girl Rose meets young poor artist guy Jack and the two fall in love. Though they start to be happy, they face dangers from all sides, including upper class snobs and a massive iceberg. It’s a story of love between classes and touches upon themes of the class divide and the war that goes on between the two whilst also being (to my knowledge) a fairly accurate historical account of the actual sinking of the RMS Titanic. And it’s all quite good.
The acting is pretty great all round. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet make a great couple. DiCaprio manages to capture the joy and awe of a poor lad being on a very expensive ship, whilst Winslet perfectly personifies those upper class values with a rebellious nature behind them. Billy Zane is a very good antagonist, being thoroughly unlikable, whilst the rest of the supporting cast are all very good. But this being a love story, it all hinges on the main two really. Luckily, they have great chemistry and their characters work as really good counters to the other whilst also being a great compliment to each other. They have a real playfulness about them and seeing them so happy can’t help but make you feel really happy too.
The special effects and production design in this film are really great, even for 1997. Apparently the ship was designed as accurately as possible, and it looks really really fancy. Chandeliers and nice crockery are everywhere and it all looks stunning. Not to mention all the costumes to match too. And the ship as a whole, brought to life with CGI, looks really good too. When the ship finally sinks and points right up into the air, it all looks scarily real. The film really manages to capture the fright and panic of the whole disaster. It actually makes it kind of hard to watch. It’s really disturbing to think this really happened and when it all looks so real it just brings that sentiment home.
But it is still a really nice love story for a lot of the film! Not all doom and gloom. If the film has any problems it would probably be that it is rather long at around 3 hours. And the present day framing with an old Rose and Bill Paxton searching for a sparkly necklace that was on the ship is a bit tiring. Luckily it doesn’t return to that too too much, but that part of the story is a bit tiresome at times. That being said, the film is still really satisfying and, though it may not have the happiest of endings, who can’t help but cry when that beautiful Celine Dion song kicks in?!
‘Titanic’ is a pretty great film overall. It may be a bit long and horrifying at times, but it is still a really epic love story that looks and feels amazingly real. Does it deserve to be the second highest grossing film of all time? I don’t know. But I’m not surprised that it is.
JACK’S SCORE: 4/5