I Want to Talk About Titanic NOW!
Hey I just saw Heat!
Heat?! I saw that 6 years ago!
Uhhh I want to talk about it now!
I know, I know. You haven’t seen Titanic?!?!
I know, I know, the movie is now almost as old as the actual event was when it came out in 1997. Babies born the year Titanic came out can now legally purchase and consume alcohol in this country. I know, I know.
But I FINALLY saw it this week, and I want to talk about it NOW.
In 1997, I was in third grade and was obsessed with the events of the RMS Titanic. We did a class project on it and I showed top-notch enthusiasm and knowledge on the subject that I’m sure made Mrs. Slemrod simply beam with pride. I could easily articulate what bow and stern meant, knew the event happened in 1912, and... that was pretty much it. At the time, that seemed like sufficient knowledge to be considered a “class expert.” I was enthralled by reading about the event, seeing photos of it, and talking about it with anyone who would listen. It's still crazy to me that I never saw it until now. I remember putting Celine Deon’s My Heart Will Go On into the cassette player in my living room, laying down on the couch, and listening to it on repeat when I was alone. It was the first song I remember truly loving. For the record, that song still gets me. (I'm surprised I'm not gay too.)
What. A. Movie. Seriously, have you guys seen this thing? (I know, I know: yes.)
Although I had never seen the movie all the way through, I already knew most of the key important lines/scenes/end results: Jack and Rose get together despite massive socioeconomic differences; Jack at one point screams “I’m the king of the world!!!” (Thank you, The Office); there is a scene where Jack and Rose pretend they’re flying (Thank you, popular culture), and there is a nude scene that has something to do with art (Thank you, male friends). And, was there one more thing?... oh yeah: THE SHIP HITS AN ICEBERG AND EVENTUALLY SINKS AND MOST PEOPLE DIE INCLUDING THE MALE PROTAGONIST. I knew there was a dramatic scene at the end between Rose and Jack while she's on a door and he's freezing to death in the North Atlantic water despite there apparently being enough space on the door for him. I knew the stats about where the ship crashed, how many people died, and knew that the love story wasn’t true. It would be difficult to get to 2018, be somewhat connected with TV and movies and general knowledge, and not know all or most of these things.
Titanic is so good that even knowing all of that can’t take away from the incredible experience of watching it for the first time.
Let me begin this next paragraph with the admission and understanding that I’m stating nothing new or revolutionary here (as you may remember, the movie is TWENTY-ONE YEARS OLD), but I just need to get the following off of my chest: If I’ve seen a movie that affected me in such a powerful way recently, I can’t remember it. Throughout the movie I rooted for Jack and Rose to get together even though I knew it would happen. I was actually heartbroken and devastated when Jack is told to stay away from her family. I was desperately hoping they’d get out from the prisoner’s room when he's accused of stealing the necklace. I watched with terror and heartbreak as the mother is shown telling her children a bedtime story, knowing it would be their last, and as that couple lay snuggling in their bed as the water rose around them. I fought back tears as Rose jumped out of the lifeboat, and how they continually sacrificed for each other. If you jump, I jump. Never have I witnessed a more powerful, believable, compelling love story in a movie. On the other side, I absolutely hated Billy Zane’s character. It reminded me of going to see shows as a kid, when the “villain” comes out for bows and gives a telling and charming smile and you realize she really isn’t that mean, evil character you’ve just spent the last two hours hating. I was always awestruck by performances like that.
Like every movie, Titanic isn’t perfect. The movie definitely starts a bit slow; we geeeeeet it, you’re looking for an old, valuable necklace. I wish the hour full of death was reduced by about half. We geeeeeeet it, there aren't enough lifeboats and THIS ISN'T GOING TO END WELL. And I’m DEFINIETLY not buying that Kate Winslet was SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD on that ship (Sorry for all the CAPS, I just have A LOT OF FEELINGS.) I simultaneously wanted all of it to end and desperately hoped it never would. Nowadays, it feels rare to say that after a movie. We watched the movie on my Macbook, and I was captivated and moved until the very last second. I’m a person who routinely falls asleep during movies, and I would have sat there and watched that film again right then and there. It’s one of those movies where you feel like you need to go for a walk afterwards, or maybe lay down, but you definitely don’t want to do anything else. You feel like you’re a part of it, like you have a literal stake in the relationship, a real stake in the fate of so many people. You think about death and life and wonder what really matters. You end the movie thinking about how powerful story can be, how you want to keep reading and writing and watching and living beautiful stories.
Call me a loser, call me cliché, call me late and out of touch. (But don't call me late for dinner!!!!!) But I’m here because I want to talk about Titanic and I'm here to say that I think Titanic might be my favorite movie of all-time.
And how dreamy is young Leo?!?