Classic Film Review: Titanic (1997)

And the Oscar Goes to:

Titanic, 1997

Directed by: James Cameron

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warner, Bill Paxton, Victor Garber


Upon its release Titanic was the most expensive film ever made and became the highest grossing film of all time, the first to reach over ($1billion), and this lasted until 2010 when James Cameron beat his own record with Avatar took over. Titanic is based on the true story of the RMS Titanic ship, which sunk on its maiden voyage, but, above that, it is a love story. Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed) are from opposite classes (Rose is upper class and Jack lower), and Rose is engaged prior to stepping on board, but despite all this they meet and fall in love during the short distance before they hit the iceberg.

This film is therefore split in two: the love story and the sinking of the ship. One of these is very well done, and one is pretty poor. Jack and Rose’s relationship (the speed of it, the clichés and the writing) is all pretty poor. The dialogue between them two is, at times, laughable, which is surprising considering the dialogue between everyone else is pretty decent. It doesn’t come across as legitimate, instead it seems rushed in to make you feel upset about the eventual sinking of the ship.

Speaking of the sinking of the ship, that, unlike the romance element, is fantastic. Even by today’s standard, some twenty years later, it holds up to today’s standard. It’s easy to see how Cameron spent so much money to make this. The ship from the outside to the rooms flooding on the inside, the whole film is beautiful.

One thing that was slightly confusing about the film was how it was told through Rose from the present day. While most of the film focuses therefore on Rose and her relationship with Jack, but there are many times where we see conversations or actions between other characters and Rose would have never known about that. I know it’s building up the whole story and all the characters, but having the actions on board of the Titanic being told by an elderly Rose meant it confused slightly with these scenes.

Totanic is a brilliant re-enactment of the sinking of the ship, but it’s unfortunately filled with this romance element which doesn’t come across as genuine. Above all, though, Titanic is a beautiful and breathtaking film.


Plot: * * *

Acting: * * * *

Writing: * *

Presentation: * * * * *

Overall Rating: * * * ½

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