ENG 225 Week 5 Final Film Critique

Topics: Film, Titanic, James Cameron Pages: 6 (2144 words) Published: June 29, 2015

The Titanic
Aaron K. Banks
ENG. 225 Introduction to Film
David Hayes
June 2015

The Titanic
Within the context of film industry, the film Titanic by James Cameron belongs to epic romance/ disaster genre. The film, released in 1997, was a global box office hit because the director provided equal importance to history, fiction and romance. To be specific, one can see that the film’s plot is based upon the history of RMS Titanic. On the other side, the main characters including the protagonist and the heroine (Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater/Dawson) are fictional characters. Besides, the element of romance between the main characters (Jack and Rose) is the film’s main attraction. Thesis statement: The critical analysis of the film Titanic proves that the innovative mode of storytelling (flash back and other techniques), Acting, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Style and Directing (equal importance to fictional and historical characters), Societal Impact, and Genre (epic romance/disaster) are the most important factors behind the film’s success as a historical/fictional masterpiece (special references specific shots, scenes, characters, stylistic devices and/or themes). Critical Analysis

A. Storytelling
The storytelling technique made use by Cameron in the film Titanic is special because history and fiction is inculcated within the plot. For example, Cameron made use of the history of RMS Titanic as the main plot of the film. But he was aware of the fact that mere history of a cruise ship will not satisfy the global viewers. So, he decided to inculcate fiction and romance to the main plot. Parisi (1998), states that “Cameron’s gift was to create a unique movie going experience, one audiences couldn’t get from any other film” (202). One can easily identify that inculcation of fiction and romance is helpful for the director to be free from portraying a film from historical perspective. At the same time, the historical importance of the plot forces the viewers to feel that the events are real, not fictional. Within this context, the director made use of flashback technique to unearth the romantic story of the lovers in the film. To be specific, the plot moves from present condition (say, 1996) to past (say, 1912) and to present (1996). In the opening scene, the director portrays the effort of Brock Lovett (say, a treasure hunter) to unearth the secret behind a necklace sunk with RMS Titanic in 1912. Gradually, the director portrays the love affair between Rose and Jack. In the end, Rose drops the necklace into the Ocean and returns. The film ends with a fictional reunion between the lovers. B. Acting

The film’s casting is related to historical and fictional characters. For instance, some of real travelers in the RMS Titanic are portrayed in the film. This is helpful for the viewers to identify the historical element of the film. On the other side, the protagonist and the heroine are fictional characters. For instance, Jack and Rose, (the protagonist and his lady love) are fictional characters who inculcated the element of romance in the film. One can see that the director’s decision to caste Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson (say, the protagonist) is one of the elements behind the commercial success of the film. Besides, DiCaprio’s youthful exuberance suits his character in the film. On the other side, Kate Winslet’s character as Rose DeWitt Bukater is apt because she was able act according to the high class status of the character. At the same time, the love affair between the protagonist and the heroine is portrayed in a usual manner because the casting was according to the situation in the film (say, tragic love affair between lower class and upper class characters). Caledon Nathan (acted by Billy Zane) is another character (say, the antagonist). His character leads to dramatic sequences in the film but does not prove to be over...

References: Barczewski, S. (2006). Titanic: a night remembered. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Lyden, J. (2003). Film as religion: myths, morals, and rituals. New York, USA: NYU Press.
Parisi, P. (1998). Titanic and the making of James Cameron: the inside story of the three-year adventure that rewrote motion picture history. New York, NY: Newmarket Press.
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