The 3D re-release of James Cameron’s Titanic is every bit the sweeping epic that the original was. The trusty director doesn’t visibly change a thing, keeping this movie the masterpiece it was in 1997. As I was not quite old enough to see Titanic upon its original theatrical release, having it re-released in theatres was an extreme privilege, and watching this extraordinary film is one of the most incredible cinematic experiences of my life (so far). Seeing it on the anniversary of the disaster, sitting in the theatre exactly 100 years after the Titanic hit the iceberg, made the experience all the more powerful. James Cameron is a gifted director, and this film is the greatest telling of one of the most tragic stories ever told.
Titanic tells two stories, the love affair between Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet), and the true story of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Director James Cameron took personal interest in the story and was present for many of the twelve dives made to the wreckage for the filming of this movie. This film attempts to best recreate the Titanic in all its glory, as well as the horror of its collision with an iceberg and the horrid aftermath that lead to the death of 1,514 people. Cameron masterfully integrates the story of a modern day voyage to search the wreckage of the Titanic with a vivid recreation of what happened aboard that ship. The parts of the story set in the present feature around an old woman named Rose (Gloria Stuart), a survivor of the Titanic who tells her story aboard the ship.
Jack and Rose’s story is an unforgettable tale of romance. A modern day Romeo and Juliet, a forbidden love, a quick and rash and young love affair, a story to remember. The two fall for each other after Jack rescues Rose, and Cal invites him to dinner in the first-class dining hall. After this he takes her to a ‘real’ party down in the third-class cabins. The couple begin sneaking around the ship for several days, and many moments they share together are incredibly sincere. Jack paints her in the nude “like one of his Paris girls”, but then the older version of Rose tells us that they did not “do it”, and that he was far too professional for that. The story of Jack and Rose is fictitious, of course, but is a wonderful and dramatic story to lie on top of such a tragedy, furthering the emotional response to the film.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are both extremely talented actors. While noticeably younger in both their looks and their performances, they are still both terrific and deserve some recognition for their roles. Both show a desperation that suits the film perfectly, and which may not exist if the two actors were to do the film now. This younger energy is just right for the plot, and the two stars have very strong chemistry, only making the story all the more real for audiences. The supporting actors are also all talented, and they seem to understand the emotional depth required to portray Titanic passengers. Billy Zane plays a hateable Cal, Kathy Bates is the talkative and - while rich - not quite formal Molly Brown, Victor Garber is the ship’s careful designer Thomas Andrews, Bernhard Hill the loyal Captain Edward James Smith. The cast also includes many other talented co-stars, and hundreds of extras.