Titanic ★★★★★

Starting the film with the ship's wreckage is perfect. It adds a layer of morbid curiosity, and it also deflates any criticism of "duh, the ship sinks at the end, big deal" - yeah, the film knows it, too. Everyone knows that at its core this is a love story, or is it? Actually this is Rose's story and how she decides to abandon her old life. Céline Sciamma (!) went on record to state how perfectly balanced Kate and Leo's relationship is.

For example, if they had sex directly after he drew her like one of his French girls, that would feel very iffy. I have a feeling the film was supposed to be something very different at first, just look at the deleted scenes. There were way more subplots involved, like the one with Vasquez from Aliens and her kids, or the cut schmaltzy ending to Bill Paxton's plot. While editing, Cameron luckily decided to focus on Rose.

A common criticism that I find very valid is at least weakened by said focus. I would agree that there is too much of a black-and-white angle when it comes to the side characters. They are either really nice or irredeemably evil, a bit more nuance would have been nice. But that's not what this film is about, this is no Parasite on a ship - and Cameron badly needed to make those 300 million dollars back.

Here's my favourite shot: it's when Rose stands in the pouring New York rain at the end and the camera pans around her. It's almost a bit much, but the movie has earned it at this point. Just imagine how utterly terrible Titanic could have turned out, with only a handful of wrong decisions - you know, like if the infamous theme song played during the movie.

Hence, I recommend turning it off immediatley when you see "Written and Directed by James Cameron" at the end.

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