A bona fide pop-cultural phenomenon, Titanic has all the ingredients of a blockbuster with romance, passion, luxury, grand scale, a snidely villain, and an epic, life-threatening crisis. The film is a combination of absolute authenticity with a pair of fictional lovers whose tragic fate would draw viewers into the heart-wrenching reality of the Titanic disaster.
Starving artist Jack Dawson (Leonardi DiCaprio) and soon-to-be-married socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) won the hearts of viewers around the world. Their brief, but never forgotten, love affair provides the humanity needed to turn Titanic into a moving emotional experience.
When the theatrical release of James Cameron’s Titanic was delayed from July to December of 1997, media pundits speculated that Cameron’s $200-million disaster epic would cause the director’s downfall, signal the end of the blockbuster era, and sink Paramount Pictures as quickly as the ill-fated luxury liner had sunk on that fateful night of April 14, 1912.
Titanic would surpass the $1-billion mark in global box-office receipts, win 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Director, launch the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time, and make a global superstar of DiCaprio.
Although some of the computer-generated visual effects look artificial, others–such as the climactic splitting of the ship’s sinking hull–are state-of-the-art marvels of cinematic ingenuity. It’s an event film and a monument to director Cameron’s risk-taking audacity, blending the tragic irony of the Titanic disaster with just enough narrative invention to give the historical event its fullest and most timeless dramatic impact.
Director: James Cameron
Year of Release: 1997
Character to watch: Leonardi DiCaprio as Jack Dawson.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?