Did you know that Leonardo DiCaprio was not initially the actor the director wanted for the role of Jack in Titanic? Matthew McConaughey had auditioned with Kate Winslet and was crushed when he did not get the role. Leonardo DiCaprio shone in the romantic and dramatic movie which won 10 Academy Awards.
Titanic is a love story told through the eyes of Rose as a much older woman. She recounts from memory her time aboard the ill-fated voyage. Rose (Kate Winslet), and Jack are two young adults who fall in love. It is 1912 and Rose is a wealthy and beautiful 17-year-old. She is a first-class passenger traveling on the Titanic with her mother Ruth and Cal (Billy Zane) who is soon to be her fiancé. Ruth is demanding and in keeping with the period she has ensured that Rose marries well. Jack is a homeless artist, a 20-year-old young man who boards the ship minutes before its departure having won a ticket in a lucky game of poker.
Although Rose is traveling with her mother and Cal, she is alone and very sad. She doesn\’t love Cal and feels like she is suffocating. Jack meets Rose one evening on the deck of the ship and she is taken by his outgoing nature, confidence and free spirit. Jack is taken with Rose from their first meeting and walks the upper deck of the ship in the hopes of finding Rose. He does.
James Cameron the writer, director, and producer was hesitant to cast Kate Winslet. It was an excellent choice and I can’t imagine any other actress in the role. Her facial expressions clearly expressed her feelings and I felt for her. Her chemistry with DiCaprio was magnetic. It seemed so innocent and real. Billy Zane played the perfect jealous, selfish and mean spirited character. He was such a snob and the perfect antagonist to DiCaprio’s innocent and bright spirit.
The Titanic ship was the most luxurious ship of its kind. It had crystal chandeliers, palatial staircases, and fine china but only for the first class passengers. The costumes were exceptional. The high society women wore long silk gowns with much detail and broad hats. This was the style of the 1900s. The second and third class passengers wore drab and plain clothes. The top deck was called the “Boat Deck”. It had promenade ares for first class passengers only. The second class passengers were in the stern. The lifeboats were stored there, contained the captain\’s bridge, included quarters of the captain and officers
The movie was filmed entirely on a full-scale replica of the ship in Mexico.
It is mind-boggling to think how realistic the setting was when it all took place on a set. The actors were in freezing cold water, you could see their cold breath and icicles in their hair. The movie was indeed the most expensive one of its time with its estimated 200 million dollars. In the opening weekend, it came to 2674 screens and was ahead of the box office lists in the USA.
A diegetic sound ( is used in the scene of the party and the voyage but the non-diegetic sound is also preferred especially in the romantic scenes such as their “flying” and panic scenes of sinking, as it increases the tension.
As you watch the movie, you can see many kinds of camera shots in the film, medium close-up and the pan down shots. The medium close-ups and zooms are highly used in the party scenes, as they are showing more details and reveal more surroundings and makes you feel that you\’re aboard the ship with the characters. The high-angle shots are really used in the scene of the boat sinking. The effect of the high-angle shots on the passengers makes them appear smaller as they are rushing to the top of the boat. The pan down shots is especially in the flying scene of Jack and Rose. It is showing the scene meanwhile capturing Rose’s first sense of freedom. Also when it is at night in the movie we have low-key lighting meaning with a contrast between light and dark. We could see perfectly the characters by the lighting but still having the effect of nighttime. In this movie, we have loads of special effects. For example, when the Titanic splits in two and it is not done in the ocean, the views (sunset, sunrise ect.), when it is filmed at the long shot when the boat is moving forward it also special effects. In total there are 500 scenes with digital effects.
Titanic is one of the most successful films in terms of its acting, marvelous visual effects. and costumes design. It is a love story between a young wealthy socialite and a poor working class artist. I would rate it 5 out of 5. I would definitely agree with the rating of PG-13.
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