Classic Movie Review: Titanic (1997)

Title: Titanic
Release Date: December 19, 1997
Director: James Cameron
Production Company: Paramount Pictures | 20th Century Fox | Lightstorm Entertainment

I remember seeing this movie on a date shortly after it was released. I had no expectations of the movie going in, but the date was pleasant, the movie was entertaining, and the special effects really brought the ship and its tragedy to life. Also Kate Winslet was hot. I liked it. In the ensuing weeks the hype machine went out of control and suddenly Titanic was being discussed as the GREATEST. THING. EVER!!! This followed quickly by the reactionary view, picking Titanic apart, declaring it the WORST. THING. EVER!!!

Rewatching the movie many, many years later, and I’m going to have to say my initial impression was on the mark. This is a well-made and entertaining film that gets to the heart of a great tragedy. Sure, the fictional romance of the first-class Rose (Winslet) and the steerage passenger Jack (Leonard DiCaprio) is incredibly corny. But it works in terms of the film because they are renegades and thus have an excuse to be on various parts of the ship encountering different people at key times.

It is perhaps disappointing that the groundbreaking special effects are used these days more in superhero movies than in historical dramas. I am happy that DiCaprio got his due, as I recognized his acting skill here even as he was generally getting slagged. He’s proved he’s a talented actor just not so suit for leading man roles like this.

Rating: ***1/2