There are not enough superlatives to describe this monumental feat of wizardly. James Cameron, Merlin of the movies adds the third dimension to enhance the experience; it is subtle, visceral and so astronomically effective that you loose all consciousness of the mandatory eyewear.
It is fifteen years since its initial release and its freshness is as redolent as ever; “Rose” and “Jack” breaking the shackles of class and wealth bestow upon the viewer magical love, doomed like the Titanic, to the briefest of hours. Running with them through the labyrinth of the ship’s multiple decks and corridors; dancing in steerage, breathless at the bow, arms out stretched, freedom and the world, theirs, theirs alone.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have actualized their potential; their careers have snowballed, unlike supernovas they continue to shine; but I have to believe the wonderment of “Titanic”, its glory, rests in a sacred corner of their hearts; their youth and beauty ageless, forever frozen on the screen.
In the fifteen years since I have seen “Titanic” much has changed in the world and personally; some events cataclysmic others magnificent; with perspective I concentrated on the performance of Billy Zane, as the nefarious, entitled “royal” “Cal” , engaged to Rose; he is brilliant in his depiction of the myopic, arrogant, condescending, stratospherically wealthy stereotype; disaster will never deign to darken his doorstep; he will survive because he always wins; his elitist armor, a shield from all he deems inferior. “Jack” is his nemesis and bests him as a human being. One of the favored lines of the film is when Rose tells Cal she would rather be “Jack’s whore than his wife”.
Kathy Bates, is “Molly Brown” (Unsinkable) a rather crass but good-hearted widow of an oil baron; beneath her facade of “new” money resides a wise and dignified mind and spunky spirit.
Frances Fisher excels as Rose’s penniless, desperate mother , selling her daughter to insure financial security in addition to her “good name”.
The tragic Titanic holds center court as the ill-fated “ship of dreams”; its splendor, luster unequaled (in 1912 at 7.5 million dollars) silver, crystal, china, linens never used before; Cameron strokes the decks, ballrooms, stairways, suites with the tenderness of a lover; with awe and respect the accessories of the privileged are emphasized while contrasting catastrophically with the accoutrements of the destitute; you mourn the watery demise of objects and mankind as you sink, with all, sickeningly into the depths.
Fifteen years ago I felt it was a travesty what the one –hundred- year- old Rose did at the finale of the film; now realize how appropriate her decision was; eighty-four years she kept hidden the 56 – carat blue diamond, “Heart of the Ocean” once owned by Kings, now resting, partnered forever with “the ship of dreams”.