Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Titanic (1997)

Rating: 8/10

"I'm the King of the World"

It would seem rather pointless of me to even introduce this film. I promised a blockbuster so that's the problem with blockbusters: even my cat knows about them.

So I will begin this review with the plot:

To keep it brief, "Beginning with genuine footage of the departure of the Titanic on its fateful voyage, this epic movie tells the events of that tragic night from the perspective of fictional survivor Rose. As an old lady of 100, she recounts her story of duty, love and disaster to a salvage crew searching for a lost diamond." (www.imdb.com)

This is James Cameron's 'Titanic'. What a colossal film indeed. Many times Cameron remarks that 'Titanic' was no more for him but a $200,000,000 chick flick. But what an expensive chick flick is this anyway?

I could go on and on about the cheesy plot line of impoverished-upper-class-girl-who-needs-to-marry-rich-to-save-her-family-from-debt meets boy-who's-poor-but-pure-of-heart-and-honest, they fall in love, something which interferes with the girl's plans to marry. In the end the couple endure everything because of Love;and since this is Valentine's Day what a better romance than a romance/disaster flick. I thought it appropriate enough to review, especially today.

The protagonists are merely the subpot in my opinion. The real protagonist is the ship. The unsinkable ship. The ship of Dreams. Not that ships could alter the course of someone's life (despite of what you may have seen on the TV Series 'The Love Boat', these things don't happen). However Titanic was somewhat different. It did change the course of many people's lives. And it gave Cameron the perfect excuse to give us an extrordinary spectacle through our screens.

Even before the fated days of 3D and IMAX, 'Titanic' was a feast for every viewer that visited the cinema to watch it. A truly remarkable feast for the eyes and a filmic directorial achievement. In my opinion, yes it may seem like the most cheesy romance/disaster flick ever, with many teenage hearts going all lovey-dovey for the fated love couple, Jack and Rose, but it's the immensity of hard work and innovative directorial and technological enhancements that make this film to stand out.

Cameron for me is a pioneer. Many see him as a madman who likes nothing more than to spend away money for his own perk. This is the man though that dared in my opinion. He gave us 'The Terminator' ('He will be back'), 'Titanic' ('If you jump, I jump') and his latest innovative-cash-cow-achievement 'Avatar' ('I see you') and there're plenty more to come I'm sure.

But enough about the director. Onto the film now. Beyond the plot and the directorial voice, we have to stand in awe of the production design, the production setting, the superb musical score of James Horner and the beautiful cast that came dazzling through our screen to make the mythology of this unsinkable ship to come to life.

Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kathy Bates, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, Bernard Hill and so many other actors that filled the cinematic ship of Titanic. The tragic story of its virginal voyage that came to an unexpected end.

I see this film as a life-altering journey. To be able to capture the essence of how it must felt like to be in the real Titanic is an achievement that not-too-many directors are capable of fulfilling. The camera-work and the state of the art post-production infused techniques shape to what we then knew as an audience back in 1997.

Cameron later on did a documentary in 2003 about his real-life journeys underwater to find the real Titanic and explore the salvaged hull. For those keen on exploring more the idea of the real ship you can find more details here!

For me this film runs like a flowing water. I pay little attention to its extensive running time (194mins) because the truly horrif tragedy of the ship after the first hour and a half (the chick flick part) finishes, the real juice starts to pop in our screens.

Titanic sinking. The vessel leans and give way to its weight. The orchestra that plays all through the ending. The lights going out. The horrendous splitting in half. The final sinking of the hull. The people jumping and trying to survive in the freezing water of the Atlantic. All the lost souls who submit their fate into the ocean. Truly a remarkable cinematic feast!

First time I watched it I was about 11 years old. I remember nagging my mom for ages to go and watching (since I was so influence by Celine Dion's song 'My Heart Will Go On'). And I remember that for the first time in my life I cried in the cinema. I won't spoil at which part I did, because for those who have not seen then film, I will merely spoil the whole thing. But, it was the first and the last time that a blockbuster made me shed a tear. And for that, it definitely goes to my MUST-WATCH-FILMS-OF-ALL-TIME!

Hope when you do find the time, you take your loved one(s) and snuggle up and get cozy for an extraordinary ride.

Titanic (1997/2012)

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