James Cameron`s Titanic was a colossal movie almost nobody was expecting to succeed. It was too big, and associations with the real Titanic that sunk, were too obvious to be avoided. Plus the historic romantic drama genre was abandoned at that time because of no interest from the audience. Cameron`s project seemed to be a $200 million public hara-kiri, and yet, as we know, it happened to be one of the most successful movies of all time.
The storyline in Titanic is pretty straightforward and spins over the romantic interest of the poor painter Jack and Rose, the heiress of a noble family.
Every romantic drama tells the story of the impossibility of love. If there is love but no obstacles, there is no story. Rose and Jack love each other, nobody and nothing in between, everybody is happy, thank you, the show is over. That`s why romantic stories always grab two very distant points and try to connect them through the strongest obstacles possible to show the magnificence of love. Two teenagers of warring Verona clans, Beauty and the Beast, Harry and Sally, Rose and Jack.
But the distance between Jack and Rose doesn`t seem to be that huge, does it? Well, it does, and that`s why Titanic is so beautiful and poetic.
Art was always a property of the elite, and only in the 20th century, did it become the public domain. 20 or 30 years later from the time of the Titanic events nobody would be bothered by the love between a poor so-called street “painter” and an aristocratic lady. But at the time it wasn`t possible. It was a catastrophe.
That`s why the Titanic hit the iceberg exactly when Jake and Rose made an act of love.
The huge, shining, and reportedly unsinkable Titanic, reliable as a Swiss watch, met the new reality and crashed. It`s a metaphor for society. The old world inevitably crashes one day if it`s not able to change. Bertrand Russel wrote that the Egyptian Civilization collapsed because of religious dogmatism and a lack of ability to adapt. Christianity, as many scientists state, survived because the Church reluctantly but inevitably split into several parts.
The Titanic did not change the course (literally). The people on the liner were too arrogant and self-confident to even admit the thought that so immaculate mechanism they lived in, might fall apart by colliding with something marginal. The Titanic was new physically but too old by spirit – the love between Jack and Rose wasn`t something horrible by size and yet it was enough to demolish the outdated world because the world was already corrupted and compromised inside.
Jack, unfortunately, could not survive. There was much outrage that the board Rose was lying on, had plenty of space for both. But the thing is that Jack should have died even if there had been enough room for 20 Jacks – it is the essence of the story. To change the сourse of history, someone needs to sacrifice himself, like Socrates, Jesus, or Martin Luther King. So did Jack.
After the tragic events, as might be seen from the setting, Rose became a very active woman. She traveled around the world on planes, went to Africa, and by any indication became the rising star of feminism. That is one more thing that was absolutely impossible before the Titanic sunk, and before Jack heroically died.
James Cameron`s Titanic became a true classic because it operates eternal values: a boy, a girl, and an immense world that wants this couple to break up to save the old world order. The world cannot be saved, but love, bravery, and devotion can.
Jack knew that.
Tolegen Baitukenov, MovieTerra