Sunday, 29 April 2012

Titanic in 3D

 Rating: ★★★

A film about a ship that was effectively sunk by greed, is having a re-release? How ironic.

I grew up watching Titanic. It was the first film I was ever really fascinated by and this movie has seemed to do the same for many other generations, too. But even though I will always love Titanic, I have to admit it has its fair share of cheese.

Hollywood meets History
Many of the films, books and TV shows set on the Titanic are based on the account written by Walter Lord in A Night To Remember. And to be honest I wish more of that book had made it in to James Cameron's film because the stories are so tragic, so interesting and most importantly so true. I like the Romeo & Juliet-style romance that James added in, but it is clichéd and not really needed when there is already such great material in A Night To Remember.

Jack & Rose's guide to life 
By the way, there might be some spoilers ahead (and I don't mean that the Titanic sinks because I hope you already know that). Anyway Kate Winslet plays Rose, a rich girl who is looking to break away from her mundane life and find adventure, and luckily she finds it in a poor young artist called Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Even though their acting has progressed so much in recent years, they both gave great performances in Titanic. The film has a very empowering message about breaking free and learning to live a thrilling, full life without the constraints of money, which I thought was ironic when my student cinema ticket cost a whopping £13! If Jack and Rose came to the cinema they would refuse to pay. But that's between me and the Odeon and has nothing to do with the film. Back to my review...

Was that an iceberg or a massive slice of cheese?
Some of the dialogue is unbelievably corny. For example 'a woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets' or 'This is so crazy... but that's why I trust it'. What does that even mean? It's a good thing the film had such an amazing cast that  really brought the words to life so you stop noticing how unrealistic they are and just let yourself fall into the fairytale-like world of Jack and Rose's love affair. I can understand how the writers could get carried away writing a script for this film and make it a little too flowery. The event sparks so much fascination and interest in anyone who hears it that the language has to be just as epic and dramatic as the sinking was. I also think that some of the imagery in the text is very poetic and passionate. For example when Rose says 'now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me... in every way that a person can be saved. I don't even have a picture of him. He exists now... only in my memory'. It brings a tear to my eye even though it also makes me a little sick.

The band kept on playing
The background music in Titanic is so wonderfully atmospheric. It can sound haunting but also very romantic. I'm not a big fan of the annoyingly whiny My Heart Will Go On ballad by Celine Dion. I think it's a lot more powerful and emotional without the words. Sorry, Celine.

The cinematography is also very powerful. I really loved one particular shot of the water slowly moving down the corridor. It gives a real feeling of foreboding. Shivers went up my spine! 

King of the box-office
So is James Cameron a visionary or just very clever? I personally think it's a bit of both. Even though Titanic was clichéd it really made the clichés as good as they can be. The special effects were brilliant and still look incredibly real today. The film did make a staggering $1.8 billion but James isn't quite 'king of the world' as he announced at the Oscars in 1997. I think he's just a very good storyteller and knows exactly what the audience want to see. He doesn't show off his genius very ofter though. After Titanic he didn't make another feature film til Avatar or, as I call it, Ava-Pocahontas-tar.

Titanic did look breathtaking in 3D but it was fantastic just getting to see such a grand film on the big screen, the way the world originally fell in love with it. God, the more I write about Titanic the more corny I sound. So I'll end by saying Titanic in 3D absolutely swept me away.

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