An Evergreen Classic
Film: Titanic, Cast: Leonardo Di Caprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Directed by: James Cameron, Duration: 194 mins, Rating: * * * * *
James Cameron’s Titanic has been re-released in 3D but unfortunately we have the 2D version in Goa. But nevertheless, for those who have not seen this classic on the big screen, it is most certainly worth a trip to the multiplex. There are some films that have to be enjoyed only in a theatre and this is one of them.
It is also amazing that after all these years, even if you have already seen the original in a theatre, Titanic is still an enchanting and splendid motion picture as ever. And like many other great movies (Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Sholay to name a few) this is a very lengthy film and you can’t help but marvel how every minute of the film has been carefully crafted by James Cameron. He is also in that very rare league of directors that make big budget pictures with special effects and all but yet their primary focus is to tell a good story and tell it well. Think of the John Carters and Transformers and you will know exactly what I mean.
By now, just about everyone knows the story of the movie. But in case there are those who came lately, here goes. It is told in flashback by Rose (Gloria Stuart, who died at the age of 100 in 2010, she was 86 when she played this role), who narrates her story to a crew exploring the remains of the Titanic. Several years ago, 1912 to be precise, Rose (Kate Winslet), who belongs to the higher echelon of society, sails on the maiden voyage of the ship along with her mother and fiancé (Billy Zane). The class divide in those days couldn’t have been starker and Rose is pretty much bored with the high society people and their petty talks. She meets Jack (Leonardo Di Caprio), a happy go lucky bloke who wins a travel ticket at a game of poker. The two hit it off immediately and love blossoms between them till her fiancée and an iceberg throw a spanner in their works. The latter of course does far more damage than the former.
The second half of the films dwells on the tragedy as the ‘unsinkable’ ship starts sinking and the lifeboats, which were not enough in the first place, are used only by the rich and the famous, leaving the ordinary men and women to their fate, which was death in icy waters. Incidentally, April 15, 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
The scenes of the ship breaking into two and then going down are nothing short of stupendous. Cameron is a master story teller and uses visuals to great effect. There are plenty of iconic scenes in the film which speak volumes of how popular this film has been. The scene on the deck where Jack and Rose spread their arms has surely been emulated by several lovers subsequently.
Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet became big international names after the film was released but Billy Zane, a brilliant actor who plays the villain in the film, didn’t play any significant roles later.
So, 3D or no 3D, Titanic is a masterpiece.