Exactly 22 years ago, James Cameron’s Titanic dropped only to become an iconic movie till eternity. No, this is not even an exaggeration and if you feel otherwise, then consider yourself a rare breed. Titanic is a class apart. Period. This 1997 film went on to bag 11 Oscars, including Best Picture. Not only that, it also launched the two biggest A-listers of Hollywood – Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Despite the whole debate around fiction vs reality, this movie is loved by all. It is not just another movie but a magical experience, a go-to flick for every mood. It won’t be wrong to say that even for the generations to come, this will take no time to become a special part of their existence. What makes it so special is that even after several reruns, one keeps going back? It’s not really hard to decode the reasons. Scroll!
1. In the words of Leo aka Jack Dawson – Make Each Day Count!
“I got everything I need right here with me. I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what’s gonna happen or, who I’m gonna meet, where I’m gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life’s a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it. You don’t know what hand you’re gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you… to make each day count.”
What’s more, after the moving speech the way he slipped a note to Rose which read,”Make it count. Meet me at the clock” was definitely swoon-worthy
2. It subtly touched on the topic of mental health, when it wasn’t even a major concern for many.
The scene where Rose is ready to give up on her life despite having it all makes way more sense now, doesn’t it? Cameron showcased the downside of an unstable mind back in 1997 when most people didn’t even know that they had such issues! One hour into the film and Rose was on the verge of committing suicide – Why? Because she felt trapped in that superficial world. No one understood her, not even her own mother. Despite all those riches, she was dealing with an overbearing and critical mother and an abusive fiance. It proved that money isn’t everything. The way James Cameron addressed the issue of mental health so boldly in the film deserves all the praise in the world.
3. Money does not signify class, your mannerisms do. Period.
Jack Dawson was shown as this low-class man who had no inkling of where his next meal was coming from. He had no fixed deposits, no direction in life. However, that did not reflect in the way he conducted himself. On one hand he was teaching Rose how to spit and on the other, he showed how to court a woman respectfully. He might not be perfect but he was respectable in every sense of the world, a quality that needs to be inculcated in every modern man.
4. Not just Rose and Jack, Titanic had several shades of love
From repentance on Rose’ mom’s face when she finds out that the ship has sunk with her daughter on-board to that old couple Mr and Mrs Strauss welcoming death in each other’s arms to that father promising his daughter that he’ll take the next boat, love was all around albeit different forms. Remember that scene when Thomas Andrews, the maker of the ship remorsefully tells Rose that he couldn’t make an unsinkable ship for her and then gives her his life-jacket? Did you feel that underlying emotion in that very scene? Molly aka Margaret Brown, who was disliked by the ladies had motherly love for Jack when she gave him her late son’s suit. These little nuances weren’t just mere details but wide range of emotions and Cameron depicted them beautifully.
5. The signature – I’m flying, Jack pose!
This iconic scene has been recreated by everyone. From celebs to commoners, every individual has enacted this pose at least once in their lifetime, if not more. The sheer beauty of the scene lies in the fact that such a small thing brought so much happiness to not only the couple but even the onlookers in that film. And then the first kiss that followed has been etched in everyone’s memories. That one moment basically represents the film.
6. The great message of resilience, loyalty and unconditional love
The film had such strong characters that it was hard to appreciate each one of them at that time. However, after several reruns most of us value and understand characters other than the main leads as well. For instance, the string quartet playing amid the sinking ship instead of saving their own lives. Even after disbanding they return to one another and continue playing. The need to play for the passengers and their own sakes is something that cannot be explained in words. The feeling of belongingness and the sense of loyalty to the ship and each other is shown beautifully. Jack’s ‘You Jump, I Jump’ dialogue, the Captain of the ship accepting his fate or crew member Murdoch shooting a passenger because he incited panic and then shooting himself after doing so, each and every moment gave a message.
7. Jack truly represented the ideal man that each and every girl deserves.
Even though it was a young love for both Jack and Rose, it was real in true sense. He put her first and encouraged her to push her limits. From their first encounter on the deck to reminding her to be herself and not someone that the society expects, he taught her to live life the way she wants to. He told her that she would die slowly if she didn’t break free (from her mom and fiance Cal,) and that the fire inside her will burn out eventually
8. The action, the parties and the background score – it had something for everyone
Did you know that the movie was 195 minutes long? You never felt the long duration of it, did you? That’s probably because it had so much to offer and I might be going out on a limb but there was hardly a dull moment. It was so gripping because it had so much to offer. While the first half was the buildup for what was supposed to come along with Jack and Rose’ blossoming love and the underground merriment, the second half felt like we were actually living the nightmare with them. The sinking of the ship still manages to give goosebumps.
The OST of the film is something that is still fresh in the minds of everyone. Celine Dion won hearts with her soulful track My Heart Will Go On. Basically, James Cameron hit the nail right on the head with this movie which went on to become the most successful film of all time.
9. The debate around how Jack could have been saved if Rose had scooched over
For years at end, people debated over how Rose could have saved Jack’s life by making room for him on that wooden door. Obviously, if we go by the logic and science behind it, there was this whole issue of balancing out the weight distribution properly, but a lot of people were disappointed that she didn’t even volunteer to switch places with him for some time at least. This was the kind of vested interest that people had in the movie. What’s more, even Kate Winslet who played the leading lady said that Jack’s death was ridiculous. On the Jimmy Kimmel show, she had said,
“There was plenty of room on the raft. I know, I know. I agree, I think he could have actually fitted on that bit of door.”
Well, this day definitely calls for yet another rerun of this fabulous film. And Monday movie night seems like a great plan, right? Bring out some wine and popcorn and relive this magnificent tale once again.