Get your tissues and popcorn ready and find a *very* comfortable spot on your couch because you aren’t going to be moving for the next three hours and fifteen minutes. That’s right, Titanic has come into harbor for streaming on Amazon Prime and people are lining up to get onboard – er – to watch. It’s been 84 years, and we can still smell the fresh paint … You see where we’re going here. The film that helped launch its stars, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, to superstardom was released 25 years ago, which for those of us that remember seeing it in a theater, doesn’t seem possible. And while we’re by no means celebrating the 110-year anniversary of the ship’s horrifying crash on April 14, we do think that Titanic is a great piece of historical fiction to tune into and learn about what can go wrong when greedy people are in charge.
The James Cameron directed flick took the entire world by storm, with Leonardo DiCaprio causing total pandemonium for young fans everywhere. These were the days of Hanson and Boyz II-Men, just before the big boy band boom, so teenage fandom was almost at an all-time high. And, while many of us needed our parent’s permission to see the PG-13 feature, we were willing to do all the extra chores possible to be allowed to watch Leo and Kate’s onscreen chemistry unfold.
Titanic followed the story of a researcher named Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) who is searching the ruins of the Titanic to find a long lost diamond necklace known as the Heart of the Ocean. When he drags up a safe that he thinks contains the precious jewels, he’s sorely mistaken. Instead, there’s just a nude drawing of a woman inside. Upset that his plan didn’t work, Lovett tracks down the woman (Gloria Stuart) in the painting, who is now quite old, and she sits down to tell her story. She tells the tale of a young girl, Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) as she, her well-to-do fiancé Caledon “Cal” Hockley (Billy Zane), and Rose’s widowed mother, Ruth (Frances Fisher) set sail on the Titanic for a new life. The other side of the story focuses on a poor young artist, Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) who wins a third-class ticket to board the luxury liner.
Our star crossed lovers, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, meet on the ship one night when Winslet’s Rose is attempting suicide because she feels trapped in her life. Soon, a romance buds and the two are inseparable. Jack shows Rose the simple pleasures in life, while Rose gets Jack to clean up and come to a fancy dinner with the ship’s elite passengers. As sparks continue to fly, Jack accompanies Rose to her room where she drops the iconic line, “I want you to draw me like one of your French girls.” It’s there that the drawing discovered at the beginning of the film is sketched, with Rose wearing only the Heart of the Ocean. The two continue their steamy affair until the ship smacks right into an iceberg, which is when panic ensues. As the ship begins to sink, terror takes hold of the boat with trapped people fleeing to the small amount of available lifeboats. It’s a really traumatizing time and by the end we were all arguing over how many people could fit on a door.
Along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, there’s also some incredible performances by actors including Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, and others, but honestly if we got into all of the intricacies of this 3 hour movie, you’d be here reading for days. The film was a piece of historical fiction, meaning that it dramatized the story of the Titanic and threw in the story of a romance to captivate us, but also taught us a lot about real life people and choices that led to the ship’s ultimate demise. The tragic events that would end up in the deaths of 1,504 human beings would reinforce safety regulations, something that certainly wasn’t considered for the Titanic’s maiden voyage.
The film would go on to gain massive amounts of critical acclaim with it currently sitting on Rotten Tomatoes at an 87% critics rating. With countless quotable lines, incredible performances, and its chart-topping theme song, “My Heart Will Go On” by Canadian diva, Celine Dion, the film has cemented itself as part of cinematic history. While Leonardo DiCaprio was already surrounded by acclaim, previously starring in blockbusters such as What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and The Basketball Diaries, Titanic proved to be his ship of dreams, giving him a platform to further go beyond what other actors of his age were able to do. If you’ve never seen it, we urge you to head to Amazon Prime Video now to check out what all the hype is about!