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Why Is James Cameron’s 'Titanic' So Enduringly Popular?

James Cameron is all set to re-release Titanic after 25 years of its release.

3 min read
Why Is James Cameron’s 'Titanic' So Enduringly Popular?
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Titanic is an epic romance film – you don’t get many of those in this day and age of situationships and hookups – unless you count Twilight as a love story.  And although the film is peppered with all the right tropes – forbidden love, heartbreak, first love and more – what is striking is the foolhardy nature of the star-crossed lovers. 

So as Titanic is re-releasing in 3D on 10 February, let us dissect our love-hate relationship with the film: 


What’s so epic about the love? 

Based on a real-life event which in the film chronicles the life of two fictional characters, Jack (Leonardo Di Caprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet), the story was epic from the get-go. Like any good Bollywood ‘90s film, Rose was wealthy, but Jack was not. Rose was also stuck between a rock and a hard place as her family had lost most of their wealth.

And yet she willingly chooses to get-it-on with a struggling artist. Not very realistic, but extremely cinematic.

Jack also dies in the end which amps up the film's epic quotient. The killing off of a fictional character is an art form, not everyone has mastered, Cameron certainly thinks he did, albeit with the whole plank debate. 


Could Jack have survived? 

Yes, he might have. Cameron in a recent experiment figured that Jack could have indeed survived because the raft was quite big. And as the question has haunted cine-goers since time immemorial it’s a good thing that the cat’s out of the bag. Now the audience can safely re-watch the film knowing they were right. The internet will finally calm down for a minute or two and that’s a rare feat. 


It’s rewatchablity 

The aforementioned love story is epic but ridiculous. Perhaps that is the reason why we have watched this film on a loop for decades. As a 15-year-old it was the stuff of dreams – rivalling the popularity of Romeo and Juliet which was ridiculous in turn – we need more realistic love stories – but it’s either this or Twilight. A tough choice that one would rather not make. 

But the sad truth remains, the nostalgia associated with the film triumphs over the narrative revolving around a 100-year-old vampire falling in love with a 15-year-old girl. Twilight is borderline disturbing while Titanic is merely ridiculous. 


Celine Dion's epic song 

The enduring popularity of the film is because of Celine Dion’s epic song – ‘My Heart Will Go On.’ There is just no denying the power of Dion’s blooming voice in the end that encapsulates all that the film hopes to embody. 

Rose survives and her heart goes on – what an inane end to things, considering she could have just let Jack share the plank. If nothing, the film gave us a great song, that fits right into the heartbreaking narrative. 

Memefication of Titanic 

There are so many hilarious memes about the film precisely because it’s a silly film. Rose’s selfish decisions, and Jack’s silly nature – they were young lovers who mostly made no sense. And it’s precisely this nonsensical nature of the film that can be easily made fun of and you can keeping watching it for the fun of it.

Check out this tweet, although it has nothing to do with the film:

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Topics:  Leonardo DiCaprio   James Cameron   Titanic 

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