Titanic is one of the most successful films in the history of cinema, and although it was critically acclaimed upon its release, revised reviews and new reviews were not so kind, and it has become quite a controversial film. Thanks to movies like The Terminator and AvatarJames Cameron has become primarily associated with the fantasy and science fiction genres, but one of his most ambitious projects is far from those worlds: Titanica disaster drama film released in 1997 and based on the real-life tragedy of the title ship.
Titanic tells the story of Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), two passengers of opposite social classes who fall in love aboard the ship on its ill-fated maiden voyage. In just four days, Jack and Rose meet, fall in love, and defend their relationship against all who stand in their way, primarily Rose’s fiancé, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), and her mother, Ruth (Frances Fisher). Jack and Rose are fictional characters, but through them, Titanic featured others based on real-life passengers on the infamous ship, such as Molly Brown (Kathy Bates) and J. Bruce Ismay (Jonathan Hyde), but the focus was on the fleeting romance of Jack and Rose, l impact she had on Rose, and Brock Lovett’s (Bill Paxton) search for the Heart of the Ocean necklace.
Titanic was a major hit and broke different records, won numerous awards, and was a critical and commercial success – however, that doesn’t mean it has stood the test of time. While Cameron’s accomplishments with Titanic are undeniable, the story has received a lot of criticism since its release in the late 1990s, and some critics have even changed their initial opinion and rating of the film to a much lower one. So why is it Titanic so controversial now after its huge success when it was released?
How Titanic Became One of the Greatest Movies of All Time
by James Cameron Titanic isn’t the only movie based on the sinking of the title ship, but it’s certainly the most famous. Cameron’s inspiration for the film came from his fascination with shipwrecks, which led him to shoot footage of the wreckage of the Titanic for the film. These actual images actually helped Cameron convince Fox to promote Titanicand all these expeditions, together with a lot of research, helped the production team to reconstruct the Titanic and its smallest details to make it as real as possible, this is how Titanic became the most expensive film ever made at the time (with a budget of $200 million).
Real pictures of the Titanica meticulous recreation of the ship and the biggest-budget production at the time were already reason enough to grab the public’s attention, but there are two other factors that helped Titanic achieve as much success: its main actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Back then Titanic went into production, DiCaprio was already one of the most critically acclaimed young actors thanks to his performance in What eats Gilbert Raisin and had just established himself as a teen idol thanks to Romeo + Juliet, so starring in one of the biggest productions of the 1990s made perfect sense for his career. Kate Winslet was also an acclaimed actress at the time she was cast in Titanicthanks to his performance in celestial creatures and Sense and sensitivity. DiCaprio and Winslet’s on-screen chemistry was evident, and it was key to making the story work.
Titanic was praised for its cultural, historical and political impacts, visuals, “emotional power”, and performances, and was mostly called a “show” and a film that needed to be “experienced”. Titanic became the highest-grossing film of all time until Cameron Avatar surpassed him in 2010 and broke other records such as the most Oscar nominations (14, tied All about Eve) and most Oscars won (11, tied Ben Hur). It is therefore not surprising that Titanic was considered one of the greatest films ever made, but over the years opinions about Titanic changed drastically, and it even made lists of the “worst movies of all time.”
The Titanic is surprisingly divisive – Why?
Even when it was released in the late 1990s, Titanic wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, with some critics finding the visuals spectacular but the story and dialogue “weak”, pointing out the “lack of interesting emotional elements” and even calling Cameron not qualified enough to write “this kind of movie”. Modern criticism has not been kind to Titanic either, and the complaints about it cover just about everything – from its long length to the dialogues, the story, and the seemingly never-ending debate over whether Jack could have fit in the floating door with Rose or nope. Titanic has been called appalling, absurd, lacking in emotion, a story that “demonizes wealthy Americans and educated Englishmen”, and even one of the “worst films of all time”, with some critics going so far as to say that its success and awards are a result of its box office performance, but not its quality.
The public also expressed their views on Titanic on social media and different forums, and the biggest complaints seem to be about the story. A first-class girl like Rose crossing paths with a young third-class man like Jack would have been unlikely due to third-class segregation from the rest, and even if they had, he wouldn’t have gone unpunished for the clumsy. situation he ended up in with Rose when they met, even though Rose stood up for him. Cal has been called a “cartoon villain” and the romance between Jack and Rose has been seen as disrespectful to the victims of the Titanic tragedy and distracting from the real history of the ship, its passengers and the crew. There are also a lot of reviews on TitanicRose’s message about “true love” and how the ending failed Rose’s husband and family, because in the end she finds Jack and the rest of the Titanic victims.
James Cameron’s Titanic Defense Explained
Of course, James Cameron has already defended Titanic from all the backlash and negative reviews. In 1998, Cameron defended Titanic explaining that it isnot a movie that sucks people in with flashy hype and spits them out onto the streets feeling let down and ripped off“, but it is an experience that takes them for more than three hours and “taking others with them” so they can share the emotion. Cameron added that people of all ages and from all walks of life were “celebrating their own essential humanity” through the experience of watching Titanic and defended his script as “serious and direct“, intentionally incorporating “universals of human experience and emotion», and that his success was possible thanks to his treatment of archetypes. Cameron defended Titanic again in 2017 after Mythbusters proved that Jack could have walked in the door with Rose and saved himself, saying that their theory wouldn’t work at all because it would have only killed Jack and Rose, even saying that, while he loved doing that show, “they are full of shit”.
Does the Titanic really deserve the hate?
It is not surprising that the opinion on Titanic has changed over the years, and we can actually expect that because of how the public has matured, their views have changed, their experiences have broadened, and the way the general perception of certain issues, social issues, etc. continues to evolve. Movies, like any other kind of art, are subjective, and even the most praised stories will have their weaknesses and not everyone will agree on what makes them great – for example, the “greatest movie ever made”. “often considered. Citizen Kane, has also received a lot of backlash and negative reviews over the years, but it’s still considered one of the greatest films in cinematic history. Surely, Titanic has many weak points and its overarching message of “true love” won’t resonate with modern audiences, but its value goes beyond the Jack and Rose story, as its production accomplishments are undeniable. Titanic may not deserve the hate, but ultimately the opposing viewpoints only add to the legacy of the film and the work of James Cameron, and set the stage for more conversations about it, to his legacy and all of his good and bad points.
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