Titanic – The Review Essay

Titanic the ship of dreams is also known as the “unsinkable”, but on its departure that was not what it did. It sank! On a very bitter night, when lovers seek their loves’ and children slept in the warm cocoon of their duvet, the “unsinkable ship” suddenly collided with an iceberg. All of a sudden, a riot was unfolded! This led to a fold of events that eradicated so many lives. The Old and young, the rich and poor, the first classes and third classes. Everybody became one in the eyes of the Storm!

On its epic journey a deprived artist whose name is Jack Dawson and a rich girl Rose DeWitt Bukator, fell in love, until one night, their fairytale love for one another, turns into a struggle for survival on a ship about be submerged to the bottom of the North Atlantic. Rose ditched her fianci?? for this poor young man (Jack) but fate was against their being together. The main actors were this two – Rose, a poor girl turned rich and Jack, a very poor man who had to bet on a card game to get on the ship. These characters were very believable as one can feel the chemistry between the two lovers.

However, I would have wanted the characters to bring more passion into the film as what I mostly saw was love and romance. Rose developed into a bright, lovely and carefree woman and we were shown this in the scene when she dances with Jack at the Third-class party. Jack on the other hand, didn’t change from his lively, fun and easy-going character all through the film, a vital aspect of the film to establish Jack as a Hero. Although, we are shown his bravery when he lets Rose stay on the floating plank, he staying in the freezing water, we are also shown his playful nature when he asks Rose to run away with him.

All in all, I felt that the characters could have acted more to bring the essence of someone who knows that their love will soon end. The director of the film Mr James Cameron made the film a simple and captivating film without excessive construction. Mr Cameron used careful foreshadowing between the past and present to keep the romance full even when tragedy is coming near. This intelligent embodiment of structure in the film gave the film a perfect finish. However, the film would have been better if the structure was clearer and more understandable. The film is very good because of its slow way of creating tension.

Much scarier than any explosion or ghosts, a simple remark made by the ships foreman filled the viewers with dread “In an hour or so, all this will be at the bottom of the sea”. This created tension in the film coupled with the slow -paced action made the film even more chilling to watch. This film also conveys Greek mythology and mythic tragedies to mind, which is the fall of Icarius and the destruction of Ozymandias. Furthermore, the visual and technological accomplishment for the film was depicted in the scene of the “Titanic” sinking. The sea was shown to be large enough to sink the whole ship.

The camera zoomed on this scene showing the characters falling like shooting stars into the sea. Also, different camera angles were constructed at different angles, as the ship was shown to be sinking. This created a sense of realness into the film. However, the camera angles were not as clear in some other scenes i. e. the scene when Rose and Jack were running from the gushing water, threatening to swallow them. Sound effect was shown in the film when the passengers were falling into the water. Their screams were gradually faded out even if they were only falling about five feet away.

Also, their screams were technologically recorded to give the viewers the devastating effect of them drowning. In addition, the sound effects team creating the “Titanic” also used effects on the sound of the engine of the ship. The “Titanic” engine sound was not the real sound from the ship; it was edited, mixed and added to. This creates a fast-paced effect on the watching viewer. There was also plenty of metallic door closing, hatch openings, and long distance engine rumbling which was run throughout the film to give a sense of movement of the ship while filming.

The sound team also had to capture different water sounds like, bow wash, mid-side wash, propeller wake, hull laps to create sounds on the deck of Titanic. This was shown in the first section of the film before it “sank”. A scene when the sound effect was most evidence was when the ship was first launched and the engine starts. The sound effects team cut the sound of when a ship starts, with all the churning water and the loud rumbling of the ship, till when you can just hear little rumbles and the clinks of a tea- cups.

Also, sound effects team used contrast in different scene when the characters ran to the engine room. It was a lot quiet while they were running but immediately they got into the engine room, the sounds of engines, crackling of the fire used to start the engine was deafening. This play on contrast is very important as it gave the film a Natural and interesting effect. Different sounds were shown as the Titanic nears the Iceberg. A team of quartet players were playing, sounds of people running and shouting, waltz playing and different engine sounds.

This constructive coupling of sound was very effective as the viewers were made to see the difference between a peaceful life and a life which would soon be destroyed. The special effects team on the set of Titanic, believed that the less sound they use, the better the effect. “Often, it’s the smaller things that make the more interesting sounds, that sound bigger than the big things, if that makes sense. ” Said Mr Boyes, one of the Sound Crewmen. Tension and suspense was shown with the use of sounds, when the scene changed to the first class deck after the Engine room of the ship had been flooded.

A sense of impending doom was demonstrated in the scene when a woman said to one of the ships crew, “Excuse me, why have the engines stopped? I felt a shudder”. We have just been exposed to an amazing amount of loud, but powerful sounds at the lower deck as the workers are fighting for their lives. However, this dramatically changes as we hear only muted conversations and the swishing movement of the woman’s dress. This element alone makes the audience aware of the destruction that would soon come onto the ship, which makes this scene very upsetting.

When we can no longer hear the rumbling of the Engine and the absence of practically no sound, we realize something is deeply wrong. This use of sound technique was very effective as it embodied the notion of death; which was coming near. However; I felt that in this scene, the camera angles could have been better as we only see the woman approaching straight on. I felt that maybe the woman’s feet should have been showed first and slowly brought up to her face to give tension. Nonetheless, the high-quality use of sound here compensated for this little misfit, as the audience are made to understand the coming deaths.

One of my most memorable use of sounds in Titanic was when the engines finally shut down, and the final survivor slipped into the Icy Ocean, and there was silence. The use of silence here was crucial as the screams, grunts, thrashing of the water was slowly cut off. This creates a very harsh impact on the audience as we understand, “It has sunk”. Though almost after three seconds, the thrashing and screams began again. Special Effects were also used in the film to bring inanimate objects to life. The special effects crew used synthetic people; digital water and digital people to show the scene when people were falling into the water.

These excellent uses of effects, made it look natural to the point were it looked like real people. This innate ability the crewmen had to bounce back and forth between what’s real and not made the film interesting and not boring. The audience are made to forget what was involved to create these moves and now judge the film with their emotions. The use of special Effects in this film was a success because the staff mixed a variety of materials to give the film a clear finish. The viewers are left wanting more as the film not only taps into people’s emotions but gives a good clarity of image.

Through the Matte effect- which is when some portion of the camera lens are covered and a shoot is filmed and later, the previously exposed layer is covered, this scenes are then ran side by side to each other, thus combining two images in a single shot -Titanic proved to be a success. The scene when the ship was sinking was first recorded in a single shot and the scene when the actors were drowning into the water was later recorded. They were now played side by side into a single section to create a single scene. This was very effective as it made the “Titanic” sinking seem real and believable.

Coming to a close of my review, I feel that Titanic has embodied all the major aspects of what we want in a film. The film is great because of the directors and staff great mind and imagination. However, I feel that the film was a little too long. In fact, the film would have been better if the present day parts of the story were cut off as this adds little to the story because of the unrealistic manner it was resolved. However, very few films had the ability to keep viewers in their sits to a near unbearable 189 minutes but “Titanic” showed it can be done. This I think is one of the main reasons “Titanic” is an acclaimed film.

Then again, I feel that the script didn’t incorporate lots of tragedy in the film. The lives of the passengers that were lost were compared to the love lost between Rose and Jack and fell short. The movie’s focal points were mostly on these two young couples and the tragedies suffered that night paled in comparison. Still, the movie gave us an insight on how women were treated at that time, and it went deep into the issue of class struggle. Titanic has been described as ‘the defining movie of a generation’. This was duly recognised by the Academy as its Oscar haul still dwarfs those of other movies till this present day.