By: Julio De Francisco (A Toast) –
The movie Titanic will always have a special place in my heart. In 1997 I was a sophomore in high school. One day at my local mall I ran into an acquaintance who asked me if I wanted to see a movie with him. The exchange went something like this. **Warning, this passage contains a movie spoiler**
Him: “Hey Sal, what are you up to?”
Me: “Nothing, you?”
Him: “Want to go see Titanic with me?”
Me: “What’s it about?”
Him: “It’s about a boat that sinks, and I heard if you cry when Leonardo DiCaprio dies, sorry to ruin it for you, but you need to know this, because it’s important that you realize if you do cry when he dies the girls near you will think you’re a sensative guy and they will fall in love with you.”
Me: “…Yeah, right.”
Him: “Seriously, Sal, they fall in love with you! Hey, I’ll pay for you if you come in with me and cry during that scene with me. C’mon, there’s going to be so many chicks, Sal, right there. They’ll see us cry and fall in love with us.”
It was a total Cartman and Butters moment.
I was in. At the time, I was just naive enough about love that I humored the idea. At the pivotal scene my acquaintance and I began to sniffle, and he began to console me and cry with me. We looked ridiculous and no one was paying attention to us. If they had looked at us they would have noticed two seemingly pubescent gay teens sad to see Leonardo DiCaprio die. This embarrassing episode of my life happened 15 years ago. For that reason Titanic will always have a special place in my heart and memories.
For the sake of reviewing Titanic I am only taking into account the original version. The 3D version sounds like it would be fun for a couple of scenes but in my opinion it is not necessary. If I were to watch it in 3D I’d imagine the how cool it would be to see water splashing in your direction, people falling or jumping from the Titanic, and Jack and Rose running in the hallways and other luxurious areas. Also, it might be cool to see Jack Dawson scream, “I’m the King of the World!” in 3D, but not necessary.
There are so many good things about the movie Titanic it’s hard for me to choose what exacty to toast to other than James Cameron, the man who brought the film to life. His passion for underwater exploration, the Titanic and 200 million dollars is what made this movie possible. Titanic was the John Carter of its day. Opening weekend box office was 28 million dollars, not very much, but unlike Disney’s box office bomb, word of mouth about the love story really helped get people into those seats. Had I not heard about Titanic from my friend I probably wouldn’t have ever gone to see it.
I just spent a couple hours in the deepest part of the ocean. Wait… what!?
Also they went all out in their wardrobe and set design which aided big time in creating the masterpiece that is Titanic. It’s is a great example of the importance of wardrobe and costume design for telling a period story and bringing an audience to 1912. The difference between what rich and poor people wore as well as how the ship’s crew and staff were dressed really helped me feel like I was there in Southampton, England watching the Titanic embark on its ill-fated maiden voyage to New York. The clothing you wore back then really told others what your social status was, whether you were poor or not. In one scene, Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) steals a coat and hat in order to blend in the 1st class area of the boat to get closer to Rose (Kate Winslet).
Southhampton, England or the Kentucky Derby?
The set design for Titanic was also impressive. Very expensive replica sets were designed for the film. Areas such as its famous Grand Staircase, the a la carte restaurant, the gymnasium, the decks and more (Source). In fact, the entire set was built at F0x’s Baja studios. The boat, in fact, was reconstructed based on the actual blueprints of the RMS Titanic due to Cameron wanting everything to be as accurate as possible (Source).
Kind of like before and after “Slim-Fast” ads, I see no difference.
Another thing I loved about Titanic was the soundtrack and score. I tip my glass in the direction of James Horner, whose talents are ultimately to blame for the overplaying of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” which originally wasn’t going to be in the film but was approved by James Cameron after a couple of listens (Source). I personally can’t stand Celine Dione and don’t think she deserves to be called a “diva” but her voice did make watching the credits enjoyable.
From left to right in Diva order: No, Why, Yes, WTF, Wrong!
Considering the time it was produced, Titanic was a monumental achievement in film. If I had to pick a fault in the film I would say it is its 194 minute run-time. I’m all for character development, but I’m not a fan of having to take pee breaks without intermissions. However, it’s a really great love story and if you aren’t watching it with a date you can always play the drinking game. Cheers!
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever you hear Celine Dion music playing in the background.
Take a Drink: whenever someone says Rose or Jack.
Take a Drink: whenever you see a firework/rocket or flare light up.
Take a Drink: whenever you see a cigarette.
Take a Drink: whenever Cal gets jealous or fires a gun.
Take a Drink: whenever you see money or hear someone talk about it.
Take a Drink: every time someone spits.
Take a Shot: when someone gets spit on in the face or swallows their spit.
Take a Drink: whenever someone jumps or falls from the Titanic.
Do a Shot: when the string quartet stops playing.
Take a Drink: whenever you see water gush from windows or doors.