Titanic: a Closer Look – Film Summary and Analysis
The Titanic was a film like no other, offering audiences all aspects that they love to watch in one movie. It included a compelling love story based on a historical reference of the sinking of the Titanic. The Titanic offered a captivating story the was based on the real-life events on the sinking of the Titanic ship. It did all of this while also portraying the story with attractive protagonists that made the story even more appealing because it offered many generations to also see romance, and a love story the audience knew most likely wasn’t going to end well knowing the fate of the Titanic. The film was influenced by audiences need for tragedy and use of a real-life event, that was the sinking of the Titanic. The film influenced other films with its use of making a real-life event into a fiction love story, it made audiences feel that this event could have happened in the real-life event. The film impacted a whole generation with its captivating storyline, use of directorial skills, and character development.
The film accomplished exactly what its generation was looking for, they needed a storyline that made them feel for its characters because of the love story that ends in tragedy. Titanic accomplished its goal of making people feel and then some. Cameron made the feeling of sadness that the movie goers would feel at the end almost addicting to them. Audiences would go watch the film more than once sometimes three to four times, this was also not just in the United States. People in other countries would go watch the film more than once even in countries like France where it was not known for people to go watch films more than once (Ansen, D., Brown, C., Sawhill, R., Yahlin, C., & Takayama, H. ,1998). The films story was an original story with the touch of real life events that was the sinking of the Titanic. The film made audiences fall in love with the characters and the love story and basically took it all away from them at the end. The film touched audience’s emotions in ways that they were not expecting when they first watched the film. Its Audiences enjoyed the feelings that the film made them experience even if it ended in tragedy, that aspect was what was most appealing to the audience because they may have felt like this extravagant love story could have happened aboard the Titanic.
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The films story gave audiences hope that people that lived in two completely different worlds such as Jack being the poor guy, and Rose the rich girl could grow to fall in love so deeply regardless of their social status. It made people believe in love at least for the three hours and 14 minutes that the movie lasted. That is a powerful thing for a movie to achieve. It gives the idea that money does not matter and has nothing to do with happiness, but that love is what brings happiness. This especially was attractive to the younger teens that watched the movie countless times after its release. It also related to teens in the sense that they could relate to the rebellion that Rose was demonstrating to her mother and her finance. Rose’s mother did not want Rose to lose her fiancé because she did not want to lose the money that was in store if Rose did marry. The film made people of all ages believe that there was a thing such as true love out there, females especially thought that there might me a Jack for them and guys imagined that there might be a Rose out waiting for them also. Although the movie had great special effects such as the scene of the Titanic actually sinking, the emotions and the love story conveyed on screen is what really impacted the audience. In essence the people aboard the Titanic is what made the film so great, such as when they were all waiting for their death and the scenes that Cameron was able to capture of the passengers in their final moments of life.
The characters in the film also made it possible for audiences to fall in love with the film. James Cameron the director of the film made two great choices in the protagonist of the film with Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack, and Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt. When Leonardo was cast in the role he was still a relatively unknown actor, only starring in a few select films before the Titanic such as Romeo and Juliet. Cameron made sure the he cast Leonardo instead of a more well-known heartthrob knowing that Leonardo was the right man for the job, He also made sure the Jack was portrayed as the man of any woman’s dream with barely any flaws to his personality. Jack lite up the screen every time he was had a scene and that worked out for the film in the end because every girl fell in love with Jack just like Rose did.
James Cameron’s directorial skills is also what made the film what it is and why it made the impact that it did on our society. Cameron was a director that has much passion about the films that he makes. He did not skimp on the amount of money that was spent on the film, just the scene that demonstrates the ship sinking cost the studio $4.5 million. Cameron is a director that does not care whether he makes a profit on a film because he believes in his art which is movie making. He made sure that everything in the film looked as authentic as possible including the costumes that they wore to the most minimal detail that the average movie goer probably didn’t even notice. Cameron could capture the time period that the film was set in perfectly down to the last detail. Cameron was also very hands on with the film and made sure that he always worked as hard as he could on the film. He also worked his actors hard so that the film could look as authentic as possible, especially the scene where Jack and Rose were at the end in the water, since they had to be inside the cold water for hours on end. If anyone else had directed Titanic it would not have had the same impact that it did and still had had in our society. Cameron’s directorial skills took its audience to the movie itself, making its audience experience the movie and not just watch it.
Titanic had a great influence on the films that came after it, but not necessarily on the artistic way, instead making other filmmakers try to strive to gain the $1 billion that Titanic was able to reach worldwide that no other film had done before it. Unlike Cameron that could reach to that point with a love story, other filmmakers reached that point mainly with sequels. They would make already big hits in the box office, for example like the Harry Potter series into an even bigger film with the sequels that followed it (Corliss, R. 2012). A sequel would usually be the film that was able to hit the $1 billion mark at the box office. Cameron was able to achieve this without a sequel and not using the same format the films that followed the Titanic. The films that followed the hero usually prevails at the end while in the Titanic the ship sinks and the hero being Jack dies and the end. James Cameron was able to beat his own box office record with his film Avatar. Titanic changed movies forever in the way that movies now focused more on the money aspect than the story and art aspect of it. Titanic was one of the most expensive films to make, but it ended up paying off in the end since it did reach the $1 billion mark at the box office. Many films following that made tried making their films as big as possible in order to achieve that same goal, which made the films actually lack many of the things that made Titanic great such as the narrative and the originality of the film.
Titanic also had an influence on society because it changed the way that we went to the movies. Before Titanic movie goers did not have the habit of going to see that same movie more than once at the theater. While when Titanic came out in theaters people, especially the younger generation would go see the movie more than once. It made audiences sit through a movie that was more than 3 hours long and enjoy every minute of it. This opened audiences to especially American audiences to broaden their horizons when it comes to long movies because even though they are long it does not mean that they are bad movies, just like Titanic proved.
Titanic has proven to be a film great for all times, with its storyline that kept audiences all around the world entranced to the screen. Its characters on the screen that could perfectly capture the love that they felt towards each other regardless of the odds that they faced because of their social status. It made people believe in love and feel emotions that they were not necessarily expecting when the ship sank and most of the people died, including the hero of the film and Roses true love. James Cameron’s directorial skills and the amount of risk taking that he had on the film was also what made the film be as impactful as it was and still is to this day. He had such great attention to detail and cared so much about his film that he was able to capture the time period and its characters perfectly that really took the audience to the time period and really made them feel the story. He was also able to push his actors in ways that they would act totally authentic in their roles. Titanic also changed the way that people made movies, production studios focused more on the money aspect of movie making then before. Since Titanic was one of the most expensive movies to make, but it was also the highest grossing film in the box office having reach $1billion, they wanted to produce even more films of that magnitude after Titanic.