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Titanic (1997)

by on 2013/08/27

titanic_1997“We are dressed in our best and are prepared to go down as gentlemen. But, we would like a brandy.”

* * * *

I first saw this movie when I was pregnant. Hormonally unhinged, I flung myself at the pay phone outside the theatre immediately after the film ended, weeping, dropping quarters, in an irrational effort to make sure that loved ones were okay.

My unborn daughter kicked like crazy during and after the feature.  This weekend my favourite teenager Miss_Tree wept, wailed and thrashed during her very first screening of this 3.23-hour ordeal.

She was so distraught, I am reasonably certain the neighbours thought I was waterboarding her.

In truth, t’was Mr. James Cameron who waterboarded us both.

This movie is that cruelly effective.

This trying episode in our household has generated a few important life decisions and conclusions for Miss_Tree and I.

1. We won’t be watching the Titanic again anytime soon. Miss_Tree, as she used to say when she was younger, has “broken her cry” and any more intense emotional moments like those brought on by Titanic might cause permanent damage.

2. We will never be taking a cruise. Never. Ever.


We might even skip bubble baths for the next couple of days.

3. It is going to take a lot of counter-intelligence and conditioning to make Miss_Tree believe that Billy Zane (CQ) isn’t some kind of Kate Winslet-slapping demon. On the day asshole boyfriends were redefined we stood in awe and wept. Zane’s portrayal of Caledon Hockley as the brutish, snobbish, violent fiancé to Winslet was just a little too effective, so effective it might almost destroyed our faith in human dignity and decency for a good chunk of Saturday.

4. Miss_Tree has demanded an immediate inquest on the events involving the disappearance of Leonardo DiCaprio as the free-spirited Jack in this film. She’d like to test a theory that there was sufficient room for each of the star-crossed lovers Rose De Witt Bukater (Winslet) and Jack Dawson (DiCaprio) on that piece of drifting engraved wood after (spoiler alert) the Titanic sinks.

Whilst rocking back and forth, Miss_Tree was heard to utter, “There was enough room. There was enough room.”

5. Irrationally, I found myself wishing the movie could have been about the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” played by the wonderful Kathy Bates (The Golden Compass). Had the story of the disastrous Titanic been told from her perspective, the story would have been one of triumph, decency, kindness and sticking it to the old money’ed snobs on that ill-fated transatlantic crossing.

As a result, we dearly want to see that movie made.

This movie is good. Painfully, psyche shatteringly good. James Cameron seems to have a unique knack of grabbing his audiences by the throats and dragging them through – in this case – his doomed ship. From the sound design, to the special effects to the costumes to the performances, I believed every moment of it.

So did Miss_Tree. Unfortunately. With her whole heart.


* * * *

194 minutes

Rated PG-13 for frozen dead babies, children dying, losing parents and people dying terribly, so terribly and survivors behaving badly plus nudity, sensuality and brief language

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