If only all movies were this easy to review. Titanic
is one of the best movies I've seen, and history will rank it
with the True Great Epics along with Braveheart and Sparticus.
Forget all the jokes about knowing how the movie will end. Yes,
we know the boat will sink. The impending fate of Titanic adds the
tragic element which makes the film so emotional, but this movie
isn't about the sinking.
|Stars:||Leonardo deCaprio, Kate Winslet, Bill Paxton|
Everyone knows what a huge fan of James Cameron's films
I am. I might be wary of a "love story" that costs over $200
million to make, but with Cameron at the helm, I was sure that
Titanic wasn't going to be another Waterworld. The movie's 3
hours 14 minute length might scare some people away, but there
is no time wasted.
The story is told from a flashback perspective. The
"present-time" sequences, while they make up the vast minority
of the movie, are still very high in importance. They keep things
in perspective, pulling you back into "reality" from time to time.
And the transitions between the two time periods are very smooth
and interesting to watch.
The special effects are near-flawless (there was one scene
where you could tell the Titanic was a miniature). Unlike a movie
such as, say, Lost World, Titanic's special effects take a back
seat to the writing, which focuses on the human element. And the
true story of the Titanic is better at exploring humanity than
any fictional story I can think of.
Imagine yourself onboard the crowning achievement of Man:
the most massive vessel ever constructed, unprecedented luxury,
something that "God Himself could not sink." Look at this marvel
that we have created. Look at our capabilities. We are more powerful
than nature itself.
The separation between socioeconomic classes also plays
very, very heavily. The wealthy would have nothing to do with the
lower class. And why should they? The poor have no talent, no
sophistication. They are barely even human. Those well-off
deserve perfection in their accommodations and service. And, in the
event that the ship sinks, they should be seated in the lifeboats
first. After all, the upper-class has more to lose.
If you can understand my sarcasm, you understand a vital
part of the Titanic story. Another important part can be conveyed in the form of a question
which was posed on an episode of Dateline: NBC. If you had a seat
on a lifeboat, but your spouse did not, would you stay on the lifeboat
and live, or relinquish the seat and die alongside your spouse? Bear
in mind that the death would be by drowning, one of the worst ways to
die in my opinion. If you somehow don't drown, then you would freeze
to death in the frigid Atlantic. How strong is love against the
desire to live? These are the questions Cameron explores so dramatically
in his story.
Strange. I usually go into the theater experience before I
actually talk about the meat of the movie. Better late than never, I
suppose. We went to the premiere screen in Colorado Springs, Carmike
10. The sound in the theater was perfect, and added a lot the Titanic
experience. But it wasn't loud enough to drown out the conversation
between two very large women sitting to my immediate right. As if it
weren't bad enough that these women were talking loudly, they
apparently suffered some strange biological affliction where their
brain cells were converted to fat cells. At one point, one of the
women actually said (and I'm not making this up), "This must be where they hit that big rock." It
was an iceberg, you idiot. And could you say it any louder?
So often do I complain about the gross indiscretion of my fellow
movie-goers. What kind of world are we living in? People who have
difficulty FITTING in the roomy movie theater seats should wait until
the movie comes out on video. And people should be able to refrain
from carrying on a long, loud conversation until AFTER the movie has
ended. Too many times have I had to refrain myself from becoming
violent toward other people in the theater. To quote Dilbert, "Must --
Control -- Fists -- Of -- Death."
Whether or not you are in a theater with citizens that respect
your right to enjoy the movie, you have to see Titanic. Do I smell
a Best Picture Oscar?