One of the biggest blockbusters of all time
James Cameron’s “Titanic” was released 23 years ago today on December 19, 1997
In a year that has seen the significant failure of several huge-budget movies, “Titanic” still stands as a monument to the art of epic filmmaking 22 years later. “Titanic” would go on to become the highest-grossing movie of all time till Cameron’s 2009, “Avatar” was released. Like a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind gown by a master couturier, it is opulent, daring, detailed, vastly over-priced and incomparable to anything produced by the generic factories that crank out the industry’s standard wares. “Titanic” is a film that realizes its special effects are the draw, yet overshadows them with a love story so engrossing it carries the whole movie. By the half-way point, the fact that this ship is doomed has been temporarily forgotten. When the notorious iceberg hits and the action and effects kick in, they are spectacular and unequaled. However, the character-driven elements of the story hold their ground with compelling, emotional results. James Cameron’s script is layered in ways I would have never guessed were within his abilities as a writer. His fictionalized story is magnetic and his characters are richly developed and arrestingly acted. Winslet plays her sorrowful heiress as stuck in a manic conflict for freedom that tests her strength of will. DiCaprio, who can run hot and cold, sometimes in the same picture (“Romeo and Juliet”), is solid and constant as a free-spirited artist quite comfortable with his ill-fitting place in the world. “Titanic” is not a cookie-cutter disaster flick with a handful of under-written converging plots. This is a powerful, passionate and focused drama set against one of history’s most incredible catastrophes.
By Ken Warren, 2017/18
Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Bill Paxton
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