By Lane Roberts
“You can be blasé about some things,” Cal Hockley (Billy Zane) scoffs, “but not about Titanic!”
And so it is true about the movie, re-released this week to mark the centennial of the ship’s sinking.
The movie was a gamble when it was first released in 1997; it was scrutinized by the media, comprised of critics who thought director James Cameron would be lucky to make a fraction of the then record breaking $200 million budget he had spent to make it.
Fifteen years, 11 Academy Awards (including Best Picture), and $1.8 billion later, one can hardly blame Cameron for proclaiming himself “king of the world.”
Despite the years that have passed since its debut, Titanic retains the splendor that made it a phenomenon the first time around; including the dazzling special effects (made even richer by the 3-D) and the irresistible chemistry between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.
DiCaprio, who was only twenty-one when the movie was filmed, plays the boyishly naïve Jack, a stark contrast from the moody, mature characters he now plays, while Winslet, who earned her second Academy Award nomination as Rose, has since established herself as one of the greatest actresses of our generation.
It cost Cameron $18 million to revamp the film, and the results are subtle. If you are expecting drastic, eye-popping sequences, you will be disappointed—the effect gives the film a subtle depth, which is nice, but becomes unnoticeable after the first 20 minutes of the film. That said, the new technology is not what is going to attract audiences.
The real draw of the film, I believe, is for those who were too young to see it in theaters the first time around or for those who simply want to be reminded of why they fell in love with it in the first place. For those people, Titanic has remained unsinkable.