Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslett, Billy Zane.
time: 194 mins
give this 11-Oscar winner a good rating mostly for the amazing
computer-generated special effects, rather than the sappy
is, I could well do without the fictional romance between
poor boy Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and rich girl Rose (Kate
Winslett) that director James Cameron makes the heart of his
version of the Titanic tragedy.
appreciate his desire to put a human face on the disaster,
but this is pure soap opera as third-class Jack aspires for
the hand of first-class Rose, thus crossing her very nasty
husband-to-be (Billy Zane). The British-made A Night To Remember
(1958) avoided the romantic cliches, but still made us feel
for the passengers and crew. And it told the story crisply
in 118 minutes instead of the bottom-numbing 191 minutes Cameron
to give him his due, Cameron makes excellent use of CGI and
a lavish budget to bring the Titanic alive. The scenes of
the ship are amazing and the sinking is handled accurately
and with such drama you feel the terror those doomed passengers
and crew aboard at the end must have felt.
story is well known: The supposedly unsinkable Titanic was
a technological marvel of its age, almost 900 feet long and
weighing more than 46,000 tons. The liner boasted state-of-the-art
luxury suites (accurately reproduced in this movie), but also
cramped conditions well below decks for third-class passengers.
On her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York,
Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the early hours of April
15, 1912, 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. 1,513 people
died and only 711 survived.
terrible combination of factors caused the disaster and high
death toll, from the ship steaming at full-speed into an ice
field to the million-to-one way the berg split open Titanic's
side. If the ship had hit the iceberg head on it is said it
would have stayed afloat. Then there was the lack of lifeboats
and the failure of a nearby ship (The Californian) to come
to the rescue.
this is enough to make a great movie, but this version throws
in a cliched romantic melodrama. Thankfully, the last 45 minutes
of the movie - the sinking - is terrific.
of extra features make for interesting viewing on the special
edition of the movie.