review on the movie Titanic by James Cameron
Date of Submission:
Film Review Using 9 Elements
Reviewing the movie Titanic comes naturally to me because it is one of my best movies. The storyline is captivating. The plot of love entangled with an eventual tragedy elicits empathy from its audience. This is a story that transcends the different timelines of modern day film viewership.
The basic idea of the film revolves around romantic relationships between people of different social classes. This brings about a theme of love overcoming social obstacles. The film is about the relationship between the main characters Jack and Kate. Jack is from a lower social class in comparison to Kate. This relationship appears to be honest as it provides the viewer with a reality check up. The theme has been treated honestly by providing the main characters with various stumbling blocks. The honesty is visible as the same incidents have been found to happen in real life. The theme creates a relationship with the plot. The treasure hunter brings in Kate to help with the search. This bridges the different plots by bringing in the memories of Kate’s love story. Throughout the movie, the theme of love is compounded by trust via metaphors. Trust is a key component of love. Kate exhibits this trust when she states that she would rather get onto a lifeboat with Jack instead of doing the same with Cal. She admits that seems insane, but she would rather go with Jack, an obvious metaphor insinuating towards the instant love relationship she has initiated with Jack.
The plot of the film begins with the treasure hunter Brock searching for a necklace with a rare gem attached to it. This plot develops the story of Jack and Kate. This is achieved when Brock finds a picture of Kate in place of the necklace. Kate is brought in to tell her story, in the hope that this information will help in finding the necklace. This leads to the story of Kate and her Fiancé. The other plot that is bound to meet with that of Kate is that of young Jack, who has boarded the ship alongside his cronies. Kate is depressed while Jack is excited to be on the ship. The two go to the bow of the ship for two different reasons. Jack is there to enjoy the scenery while Kate is there to commit suicide. Jack is artistic, and thus wants to enjoy the environment in the hope of obtaining any form of new insight. However, the choices by Kate are influenced by the state of affairs in her life. Kate has been forced to marry a rich man called Cal. To evade life with Cal, Kate decides to end her life. However, as the film goes, Jack is there at the right time to stop her from ending her life. This results into a close relationship between the two, thus resulting in a secret romantic relationship. The plot is interesting to the viewer as it relates to everyday social issues.
To develop the close to a three-hour long movie as intricately as it was, the director required a script that would delve into the ideology and theme of thriving romance despite social differences and issues. The dialogue by the characters in the film is both timely and accurate. This makes the dialogue seem both real and natural. The different actors in the movie help in bringing the theme of the movies. The script has ensured that all the participants of the film help in developing the plot. The idea of the film is clear to me due to the perfect depiction of individual via a meticulous script. The story telling flows seamlessly throughout the whole movie.
The main character Jack has provided the movie with high caliber acting. Most of the general population around the world can relate with Jack due to his financial woes. Jack, whose real name is Leonardo, depicts his role so perfectly that one could associate him with his stage character instead of his real life personality. His death at the end of the film causes one to shed emotional tears. Kate also goes against all odds to save Jack from the room in which he has been shackled. This too elicits emotions of empathy from the viewer. The different actors made me conscious of their different roles by the efficiency of the acting. The smaller roles such as those played by Jack’s friend were also efficient. Generally speaking, the performance of the actors was believable.
The setting, costume & makeup help in making the film far much better than expected. The setting of the year 1912 is brought about by Jacks rugged look. The feeling of being in that year is accentuated by the dressing of the elite. This is visible at the dinner where Jack has been invited by Cal, Kate’s fiancé. The setting, costume, and makeup create the right atmosphere for the film. The choice of costume has also blended well with the plot and theme. The costumes worn by Jack differ from those worn by Kate. This blends with a plot of romance between two people of different financial capabilities. The costumes help us understand that Jack is poor while Kate comes from an opulent background. Therefore, I would be comfortable stating that the settings, costumes, and makeup are appropriate and accurate for this period of the film.
The directing of the film Titanic required experience and skills. In comparison to older standards of film production, the film Titanic was immaculately directed. The actors, the costumes, as well as the plot, fit in with each other perfectly. The only part of the movie where there could be problems in the cinematography. Re-enacting the sinking of the Titanic must have proven difficult for the producing team. However, they used the materials that they had at the time to produce a depiction of the ship sinking. Modern day directors have tools such as CGI to produce such scenes. However, James Cameron used the meager tools available to him to provide the audience with an epic viewership.
The Photography of the film accurately added to the quality of the film. This led to great blending with other components of the film that include the plot and theme. The effectiveness of the photography is made evident at the scene where Jack shows his photos to Kate. Looking at the pictures, a thought passed through my mind that they looked real. The clarity of the photos was such that they looked like real life images. Therefore, the photography of the film achieved the specific imagery that best tell the story. The editing of the film ensured that there is a smooth flow. This is achieved by ensuring that there is a relationship between the different scenes of the movie. For instance, the scene where Jack holds Kate at the edge of the stern of the Titanic has been edited marvelously. This is the scene where Jack wants Kate to let go and feel the wind in her face. The environment has been edited into the scene making the visual aspect more realistic. I found this scene of the movie particularly captivating. It is as a result of high-quality editing that I was able to understand the theme and plot much better.
The three kinds of sound; natural sounds, music, and dialogue have been used effectively throughout the film. The sound and music, in particular, have added to the film. For instance, music by Celine Dion has ensured that the viewer is empathetic to the character’s situation. The natural sound also made the movie seem very real. This is particularly the case during the sinking of the ship. The sounds of the breaking of the ship’s hull make the effects far more believable. The sounds did not, in any way, interrupt my viewing of the film. Instead, the sounds made me enjoy the movie even more. Therefore, it is prudent to state that sound was used effectively throughout the film.
The combination of great actors, a functional script, an easy to understand the plot, and a great sound, as well as cinematography, resulted in the great quality observed in the film. However, all this would not be possible without great directorship from James Cameron.
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Corliss, Richard. “Truly Titanic.” Time 179.15 (2012): 66-67. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.
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