These Movie Re-tellings are M15+ | You could get offended, there will be spoilers throughout and I may not fact check
Reviewed: October 2020 - Foxtel Movies
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Kate Winslet, Leo DiCaprio, Billy Zane, Frances Fisher, Kathy Bates, Bill Paxton, Victor Garber, Gloria Stuart
I chose Titanic to review because it's a movie that I absolutely love, have seen many times, and am confident most people will have seen too. It is a timeless; it is iconic. Enough said.
Buggar. I forgot that it was 3hrs long… I am regretting my choice. Look - to do it justice I've had to write a short story. You'll need to grab a cuppa, find a nice quiet spot, and give yourself some time to do it justice.
Today I watched Titanic, a movie that I first watched 23yrs ago. It's one of only a handful of movies I have ever gone back to the cinema to see again. Why? Because it's real. It happened. And I love watching history. Yeah, I didn't go back for the love story - come on people!
In 1912 RMS Titanic set sail from England on its maiden voyage to New York. There were 2,240 passengers and crew onboard. And it sank.
It hit a great big motherfucker of an iceberg and sank.
Let's get one thing straight. Titanic is a love story… and a lesson in history. It's both. And the way James Cameron has chosen to tell it is really clever… undoubtably saved more than a few relationships! The first half of the movie introduces us to Rose and Jack, our two love-birds - Romance Movie - and the second half shows us how the Titanic sank, and how 1500 people died - Action Movie. So, if you hate watching soppy romance movie's I suggest you head out the back for 90mins until they hit the iceberg… and then come back in, preferably with a fresh snack.
Titanic opens to footage of the great ship, seemingly from 1912, as it prepares to leave dock… scenes of great jubilation, with the haunting melody of the movie's theme song as accompaniment. 'My Heart Will Go On' the classic song made famous by Celine Dion, is heard in various formats throughout the film… it goes on and on… and on. Get used to it bitches.
Fun Fact: Apart from winning an Oscar for Best Original Song, 'My Heart Will Go On' won a Grammy for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal and Best Song for TV or Movie. It also won a Golden Globe, a Billboard Music Award and was named among the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America. Nice.
The movie ties together the past and the present using the modern-day salvage operation of the Titanic wreck to find the 'Heart of the Ocean' a rare and unique diamond. Original footage of the shipwreck was used here - easy to pick out - after James Cameron visited the shipwreck in 1995 - discovered off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada in 1985. It's here we meet Bill Paxton's character as he and his team search the wreckage of the sunken vessel - a poignant scene to be sure. They are searching for a safe, which unbelievably they find! And upon opening the safe they find…
That it's empty of any and all rare jewels. CRAP! But there is this great nude drawing of our leading lady, Rose. BONUS!
The drawing is blasted all over the news, and after id'ing herself as the mystery nude, the elderly Rose is brought on-board, in the hope that she could help them find the missing diamond. She's ONE-HUNDRED-AND-ONE!! What kind of moron breaks a 101yo person out of a nursing home and choppers them out to the middle of the freezing North Atlantic Ocean?
Bill Paxton baby!
Fun Fact: Gloria Stuart, the 87yo actor who played the elderly Rose, didn't look old enough to play the role of a 101yo Titanic survivor so she sat through 2hrs of makeup every day - to look older!! How bloody awesome is this woman!!
The salvage crew show the elderly Rose a CGI of how the Titanic sank. They show her artifacts brought up from the wreckage, including a mirror and hair-clip that once belonged to Rose. She sits down and enthralls them all with her tale of what it was like on the Titanic.
"It's been 84 years, and I can still smell the fresh paint. The china had never been used. The sheets had never been slept in. Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was."
We go back to 1912 to a bustling dock where Titanic is about to set sail.
In fast succession we meet:
Kate Winslet - Rose, the young, beautiful, engaged socialite
Billy Zane - with hair! Oh, nope it's a toupee. Anyway, Rose's dickwad of a fiancé
Frances Fisher - Roses mum, widowed and flat broke
Billy Zane's man - do men like him even have a name?
A 47yo Leonardo DiCaprio - Jack, a nobody with nothing, who wins his ticket in a game of poker. I joke! Leo was 12yo when he did Titanic
We establish that 1st class passengers have staterooms and private decks… they bring their Picassos and Monet's from home... they have butlers and maids. The 3rd class passengers are in the bowels of the ship… their rooms are tiny… 4-bunkers apiece. 2nd class passengers apparently don't exist.
The classes aren't supposed to mix… the stench from having your head-up-your-ass really doesn't sit well when you're lying on your bunk. Regardless of their class, Jack and his mate run around the ship with all the wonder and excitement one would expect from finding oneself on such a glorious vessel, having won free passage. Upon reaching the bow of ship - with arms outreached - Jack utters the immortal phrase:
"I'm the king of the world" One of the most iconic catch-cries of all-time, mimicked and meme'd in every possible format you can imagine! Do you think Leo knew when he went to work that day that he'd become a parody for generations to come?
I have been remiss - Kathy Bates boarded the ship, not on the dock with everyone else, but had the ship stop for her, she's that rich. She is the Unsinkable Molly Brown and is one strong, opinionated, tough old broad. And the other 1st class women don't like her. Why? Because they're a pack of 1st class bitches! Molly Brown's money is too 'new' making her vulgar and improper. Craggy old hags.
We meet the ship's Architect played by Victor Garber - fans of 'Alias' - a hit TV show 2001-2005 - will remember him as Sydney's dad. We also meet the ship's owner - from this point on we shall refer to him as 'the fool'. We learn from 'the fool':
That the ship is the largest man-made moving object ever made
He chose the name Titanic to convey stability, luxury and strength
He wants to impress the press with the speed of the ship and urges the Captain to go faster, so that the ship gets to New York ahead of schedule
At this point I'm going to suggest that all you romance-hating fuckers fuck off whilst I get the romance happening. I'll let you know when it's safe to re-enter.
Rose is engaged to Billy Zane, she hates him; Rose meets Jack, she screws him. Rose dumps Billy Zane. Shocking.
Ok, the romance part is over, you can come back now
Ha! As if!! I told you the mushy stuff takes 90mins. Do you really think I was going to cover it in one sentence? Sit your ass down - the romance stuff actually plays an important role in this film so get over yourself!
Rose is trapped. She's engaged to a very wealthy control-freak who's becoming increasingly violent. All Rose can see is how her life will play out… tedious, mind-numbingly boring days, just set and repeat. Obeying a pompous bully of a husband, having to conform to society norms that she despises and she can't escape. So, what does she do?
She tries to jump off the back of the ship. And this is when she meets Jack, the kind sweet Jack who knows that the water is freezing - important to know here people - and still takes off his jacket and boots, ready to jump in after her. He saves her. And she is intrigued.
**Edit: Ok sorry, my cousin Paul will not know what intrigued means - it means interested in, charmed by, attracted to, enchanted by. There you go Paul**
The problem is, getting a well-dressed young lady in a tight dress and heels back over the guard-rail is not easy, and they both fall to the deck - with Jack ending up lying on-top of Rose. So yeah, it caused a bit of a ruckus, and now security thinks that something suss is going on - let's face it, a 3rd class man, in a state of undress, on top of a 1st class woman. Nothin' suss about that!
Naturally Billy Zane and his man turn up looking for Rose, and she has to lie her ass off - she doesn't particularly want anyone to know she was about to jump overboard. As a reward for helping Rose, Billy Zane invites Jack to dinner the next evening - one assumes to embarrass him, as Jack would undoubtably have no suitable clothing. Kathy Bates steps in and does Jack a solid by lending him a tux. Nice.
And then we see the majestic 'Heart of the Ocean' the massive heart-shaped blue diamond, a whopping 56 carats, as Billy Zane presents it to Rose - seemingly as payment - to live a life of luxury, but to submit to him fully. What a wanker.
Rose and Jack spend the next day together strolling around the ship, getting to know each other. We learn about Jack's wanderlust and drawing skills, and Rose's desires to be free.
As dinner approaches, we find that Jack has scrubbed up pretty well, much to Billy Zane's amazement. Jack waits for Rose by the grand-staircase, and mimics the fellow's around him. The look on Jack's face as Rose descends is of pure adoration - he's falling in love people. As he dines with the 1st class snoots - who try oh so hard to put him in his place - he lets rip with some wisdom that belie his youth:
"... I got everything I need right here with me... I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it... You learn... to make each day count."
After being dismissed by Billy Zane, and in a scene that will be replayed at the end of the movie, Rose meets Jack at the grandfather clock on the grand-staircase and he takes her to a 3rd class party - these guys sure know how to celebrate! There's plenty of drinking, plenty of dancing and all-round shenanigans. And as Rose falls into Jacks arms - innocently at this point - Billy Zane's man - who is looking for Rose - just happens to see them. Motherfucker!
The next morning Billy Zane erupts, scaring the crap out of Rose and giving us an insight into this psycho. Let's bring mum into the equation - she's sold Rose off to the highest bidder and now she's forbidding Rose from seeing Jack again. Tell me parents - in your experience, has that ever worked??!
As the next day progresses', we learn:
There are ice-berg warnings coming in to the ship's Captain
The ship is speeding up - all boilers have been lit
There is not enough life-boats on-board - less than the half required - the fuckers went for beauty over safety
The ship is too big and the rudder is too small for the ship to be able to turn quickly
The Captain is throwing away 26yrs of experience to make 'the fool' happy
As Rose sits with her mum, with that blank, numb look - you can see the despair in her eyes… she decides to just… leave.
And in another iconic scene, with that iconic melody serenading them, Rose and Jack are at the bough of the ship, flying high together. Their love has begun.
In a move designed to infuriate her fiancé, Rose has Jack draw her naked, wearing only the 'Heart of the Ocean' diamond. She then leaves it for Billy Zane to find while she and Jack run off. A rather frenzied chase begins, with Rose and Jack being pursued by Billy Zane's man. He's like the Terminator - every time they think they've given him the slip, he pops up.
Hang-on people - sex scene!!
A very PG scene really, with Rose and Jack steaming up the windows and that single hand slipping... ever so slowly... down.
The engagement is off! Rose will be getting off the ship with Jack.
Right! That concludes the romance portion of the movie. Everything after this is full-on. Better call-in the action-tragic from out the back - and make sure they bring in some snacks
The Captain of the Titanic is about to cause one of the biggest clusterfucks in maritime history!
He knows about the growing number of ice-bergs; he knows that the ocean is as flat-as-a-tack making the fuckers harder to identify; and he knows that by sailing at top speed his ship has fuck-all chance of missing any ice-bergs in its path.
At least he had the good sense to go down with the ship.
So, they hit the ice-berg. In the movie - as in real-life - the collision lasts 37secs. The crew try desperately to:
Turn away from the iceberg; and
Slow the fuck down
They don't have a big enough rudder to turn quickly enough; and
They are going too fucking fast
And so, when they hit the iceberg, they rip a hole along the side of the ship - long believed to be around 90m (300ft) - but has since been revised to about 9m (30ft). It's not so much the size of the hole, but rather where it is that makes theTitanic sink - the design was, as it turned out, fallible. The movie shows the iceberg ripping into the hull, including the main cargo hold and the engine room. Sailors are killed, scalded by the steam coming off the water-drenched turbines; and drown when the bulk-heads are closed, trapping them, in an effort to contain the flooding.
The Architect:That's five compartments. She can stay afloat with the first four compartments breached but not five. Not five. As she goes down by the head, the water will spill over the tops of the bulkheads at E deck, from one to the next, back and back. There's no stopping it. Captain: The pumps, if we open... The Architect: The pumps buy you time, but minutes only. From this moment on no matter what you do Titanic will flounder. 'the fool': But this ship can't sink! The Architect: She's made of iron sir! I assure you she can and she will. It is a mathematical certainty.
In the meantime, Jack is in the Security Office - deep in the bowels of the ship - hand-cuffed to a metal pole. Billy Zane's man - now in possession of a gun, has the keys to the hand-cuffs and is watching over him. After toying with a bullet for a while, he sucker-punches Jack In the guts, and leaves him to drown - taking the key with him.
After sending out a distress call, the Captain learns that the closest ship, and the only ship to have answered their call, is 4hrs away - Titanic will be sunk within the hour. The Captain is completely done. He is incapable of ordering the evacuation, to get the women and children into the life-boats. He may as well walk-away now.
In one of the more heart-warming scenes of this movie - and based on fact - a String Quartet continues playing whilst those around them are evacuated - silly to begin with but they would have been a calming influence no doubt as the situation became more and more dire.
The movie keeps chopping and changing now - becoming more frenetic - mirroring the unfolding disaster that is Titanic. We see:
Life-boats being lowered, gingerly, half empty with only 1st class women and children
3rd class passengers are locked down, unable to come up on deck, waiting for the 1st class to load into the life-boats
Rose's mum asking if the lifeboats will be seated "… according to class." Considering the 3rd class people are locked down and 2nd class don't exist I'm not sure what her issue is
Rose spells it out - the water is freezing and there aren't enough boats for half the ship. Half of Titanic's passengers are going to die people!
And as Rose says goodbye to her mother and walks away from their life-boat, Billy Zane grabs her.
Billy Zane: Where are you going? To him? To be a whore to a gutter-rat? Rose: I'd rather be his whore than your wife. Billy Zane: (struggling with Rose) No, I said no! Rose: Spits him in the eye.
Well played Rose. Well played. And with that, she's off to find Jack.
Now, remember when I said that the romance part of the movie was important? This is why. Without Jack, Rose would never have summoned the strength to rid herself of her mother, who is guilting her into a marriage she doesn't want; she would never have spit in the eye of her fiancé who she doesn't love, in order to choose the man she does love. And by choosing Jack, she is ridding herself of the shackles her life.
Rose needs to toughen up in order to survive the next few hours, days and indeed the rest of her life. Wow - that was deep.
As Rose heads off to find Jack, our Architect is going room-to-room urging people to get their life-vests on and head up to the evacuation deck. Shame he didn't install a PA system... And as he trawls the decks, he finds the life-boats are only a third full. He implores the First Officer to fill them up for fucks sake!
With timely instructions from the Architect Rose finds Jack, with the water lapping around his ankles, and rising quickly. Unable to find the key, Rose goes looking for help. With the water around her waist.. around her chest... Rose finds herself having to wade through the freezing water. And with noone willing to help her - she's on her own. She returns with an axe. A bloody axe! Lucky for Leo, Kate didn't miss!!
Below deck, it is chaos! The 3rd class passengers are fucked! Passengers are lost, confused, scared and worst of all, locked in - they are STILL waiting for the 1st class fuckers! They're scurrying from aisle to aisle trying to find an open exit. Jack and his mates use a bench-seat to break their way out.
Above deck, it is chaos! People have finally realised that the ship is sinking - fast - and room on the life-boats is filling-up - fast. The sailors are resorting to threats of violence to keep people under control; warning shots have already been fired. In the rush to lower the life-boats they are being lowered without the boat beneath having cleared first! People are frantically cutting ropes and using oars to try to push the boats out of each other's way.
Frustrated that the life-boats are being filled with women and children, we find Billy Zane hell-bent on buying his way off this bloody ship! He has retrieved his big blue diamond and with a wad of cash from his safe, heads to a quieter section of the ship, where men are being let onto the life-boats. He has bought his seat… but then learns that Rose and Jack are on the other side of the ship. This fucker is out for revenge. Idiot.
At a time when so many of the sailors are handling the evacuation of the life-boats, the on-going evacuation within the ship, even the locking-in of the 3rd class passengers - in other words, they're staying put and doing their jobs - the ship's owner, 'the fool' - slithers his way into a life-boat, like a big slimy slug. The First Officer is disgusted.
Just as Rose is seated in a life-boat, with Jack, Billy Zane and Billy Zane's man looking on, she inexplicably jumps out - back onto the sinking Titanic.
Jack: Rose! Why'd you do that? You're so stupid Rose! Why did you do that? Why??! Rose: You jump, I jump. Right? Jack: Right.
And Billy Zane completely loses his shit! He grab's his man's gun and starts shooting at both Rose and Jack. He only stops when he runs out of bullets and finds himself waist-deep in the North Atlantic Ocean - which is in the dining room.
With the ship groaning and shuddering, our star-crossed lovers find themselves on the lower levels once more. This time however, the water is flooding in and they get trapped behind one of those motherfucking gates. It's a tense few moments as they fumble with keys that a panicky sailor has dropped. The rising water nearly claims them both.
They arrive back on deck to scenes of utter pandemonium.
The First Officer, in desperation shoots two people - he really didn't mean to - and then promptly shoots himself
Billy Zane grabs an abandoned child - one that he had passed by and left, 2mins earlier - so that he can make his way onto a life-boat
"I have a child! I have a child! Please I have a child. Please, I'm all she has in the world"
And that's how you get onto a life-boat people - find someone's 'discarded' child and pretend you are all s/he has left in this world. It's a shame Billy Zane's man didn't think to pull the same stunt… Billy left him 'high and dry' back on the Titanic - get it, high and dry. Ahh, I crack myself up!
It's been a while since we've heard from our Architect. Rose and Jack find him as they run through the dining room - OMFG when are these two going to stop running already, it's exhausting! He's just standing there, in front of the fire. And that's where he'll stay.
"I'm sorry that I didn't build ya a stronger ship, young Rose"
Our quartet have reached the end of their set. Their final song, 'Nearer my God to Thee' - a personal favourite - is haunting, as we witness:
An elderly couple lying on their bed, in each other's arms as the water rushes in to claim them
A 3rd class passenger mum telling her young children a bed-time story, as she tucks them into bed for their very last sleep
The heroism of some passengers, as they try to ensure that other lives are saved
The cowardice of other passengers, as they try to save themselves, and only themselves
The realisation that the ship is almost out time, and the abject terror that it brings
The final moments of the Captain - he dies at the helm of his ship - crushed by the full force of the ocean
"Gentlemen, it's been a privilege playing with you tonight…" And with that, the music is silenced.
Now we're getting to the part I really love - the part that made this movie so real for me. The ship is close to sinking and to say that there is chaos onboard is manifestly inadequate. Try mayhem, widespread confusion, complete disarray, all-encompassing pervasive terror.
That sounds about right.
The ship has started to… list? trim? Hmm not sure on this one. Let's just say the front of the ship is under water and the rear of the ship is starting to come out of the water. People are running towards the back of the ship. The vast ballroom, dining-room and grand-staircase are being inundated with water - anyone near a window on the outside of the ship, is being sucked into the ship, where they will drown. The water is flooding into the ship with such force that doors are EXPLODING!! off their hinges.
Rose and Jack are clambering over rails and debris, pressing their way through the dense throng of people in an effort to get back to where they first met - the back of the ship where Rose was going to commit suicide, only four nights previous. The crowd is thick, people are crying, screaming, praying.
Billy Zane can be seen in one of the life-boats, using an oar to beat back desperate people who are already in the water, trying to get into the life-boat - the water is below freezing and people will die from hypothermia within minutes.
The large smoke stacks - held in place by steel cables - start to give way. The cables SNAP! hitting the water with such force that anyone in its way is sliced in half. When the stacks collapse onto the water, they crush anyone its path, including Jack's mate. The resulting wake, wash people off an upturned life-boat. They too, will soon die.
The propellors are out of the water - an awesome sight! People are either jumping or falling into the water, hitting the propellors on the way down. Now that's a fucked-up way to die.
The angle of the boat is such that people are now having to hold onto something to avoid sliding all the way back down the deck towards the water - have I mentioned that the water is below freezing?!! As they slide down, they're hitting whatever structures are in the way and as they hit the water, they run the risk of being sucked into/under the sinking ship. Either way, they're fucked.
Are you not entertained?
Rose and Jack push past a small group, all hanging on to their priest, as he prays aloud. And as hard as they try, his flock starts to lose their grip, one-by-one. Rose and Jack finally reach the railing at the rear of the ship. They are so cold - their faces are grey, their lips are blue - and their breath hangs in the air. The ship rises evermore steeply.
"Jack, this is where we first met"
The life-boats row away from the ship - they don't want to be swamped by the massive wake that the ship will generate when it crashes back down, or get sucked into its vortex as it goes under. The people in the life-boats can only look back in horror.
And then the lights give out… and although the Titanic sank on a moonless night, in the movie you wouldn't have thought so - it's as if moonlight is touching every possible surface, every splash, every face. But hey, it's a movie… you have to be able to see the fucker, right??!
Ha! We finally learn the fate of Billy Zane's man - with blood oozing down his face he has picked the perfect spot to die! Right where the ship is RIPPING!! itself apart! It's like being swallowed into the gates of hell. Bummer.
The ship has SHREDDED! The rear of the ship slams back onto the water, obliterating anyone unlucky enough to be in its path; a huge wave like a tsunami, annihilating people already in the water. The ship is in two pieces, only held together - for the moment - by sections of its steel hull. The front half of the ship is now under water and is trying pretty bloody hard to make its way to the ocean floor. The back half of the ship rises into the air again - way faster and sharper than before. People don't have the strength to hold on anymore and so they fall to their deaths.
The only way to survive, if you are still on the ship, is to be as close to the back railing and - like Rose and Jack - be positioned so your body is on the outside of the rail - you can ride the ship as it goes down, and stay out of the water for as long as you can. We watch Rose watch other people hold on for as long as they can, and then fall… hitting structures, poles, catapulting into other people. And below, the water looks like it is boiling, as water permeates into every possible molecule of the front half of the ship.
Titanic just hangs there………… and then it begins its slow descent into the freezing North Atlantic Ocean. The water seething below them as RMS Titanic, from Liverpool sinks into its icy depths.
Jack: The ship is gonna suck us down. Take a deep breath when I say. Kick for the surface and keep kicking. Do not let go of my hand. We're going to make it, Rose, Trust me. Rose: I trust you Jack: Ready? Ready? Now!
Fun Fact: It took 2hrs40mins for the Titanic to sink. The 'Titanic Story' part of the movie - minus the modern-day scenes - runs for 2hrs40mins.
Rose and Jack are sucked under water, pulled down by the monstrous vortex Titanic has created. The whirlpool is too strong and Jack is wrenched away. Rose, who is wearing a life-vest, is the first to surface. She finds herself in the midst of hundreds of terrified and panicking people. They are desperate; not all have life-vests; not all can swim; some are holding on to their babies, their children; some have something to hold onto, most don't.
They are all freezing.
Jack comes across Rose just in time to save her from a drowning man - Jack has to punch the man to get him to loosen his grip on Rose - a drowning person in a frenzied fight for life. Despite the cold, Jack gets Rose to swim out of the melee and finds a floating panel for her to climb onto.
There continues to be a lot of debate as to whether there was enough room on that panel for Jack as well. He died because he stayed in the water. Not happy Rose!
Close by, one of the Officers clinging to some debris starts to blow a whistle and yells for the life-boats to come back. And as the people in the water scream out for help, the boats stay away.
Sailor: You don't understand, if we go back, they'll swamp the boat, they'll put us right down I'm telling ya! Kathy Bates: Knock it off - you're scaring me. C'mon girls, grab an oar let's go. Sailor: Are you out of your mind! We're in the middle of the North Atlantic. Do you people want to live or do you want to die? Kathy Bates: I don't understand a 'one of ya! What's the matter with ya? It's your men out there! There's plenty of room for more. Sailor: And there'll be one less on this boat if you don't shut the hole in your face!!!
Only one Officer had the good sense - the wisdom - to gather and tie-off as many life-boats as he could, transferring his load so that he could take a virtually empty life-boat back to pick up the survivors. The people in the water are growing quiet - they are dead or dying. The Officer with the whistle has died.
Jack, with icicles in his hair, intends on writing a "… strongly worded letter…" to the shipping company. It's always good if you're able to crack a joke in the face of death! Good for you Jack.
Rose: I love you, Jack Jack: Don't you do that. Don't you say your goodbyes. Not yet… do you understand me? Rose: I'm so cold Jack: Listen Rose, you're gonna get out of here…you're gonna go on and you're gonna make lots of babies and your gonna watch 'em grow. You're gonna die an old, an old lady, warm in your bed. Not here…Not this night. Not like this. Do you understand me? Rose: I can't feel my body Jack: Winning that ticket Rose was the best thing that ever happened to me. It brought me to you. And I'm thankful for that Rose. I'm thankful. You-you must… you must do me this honour… you must promise me that you'll survive…. that you won't give up…no matter what happens…no matter how hopeless…promise me now Rose, and never let go of that promise Rose: I promise Jack: Never let go Rose: I will never let go, Jack. I'll never let go
By the time the life-boat 'rescue team' makes its way back to the people in the water, they're all but dead. People look as though they're frozen solid… The sailors very carefully, manoeuvre their way through the dead, looking for the living.
"We waited too long… Well keep checking them, keep looking!... Is there anyone alive out there? Can anyone hear me?"
Back to Rose and Jack. She's delirious, having a little sing-a-long as she gazes up at the stars, whilst Jack… well Jack is dead. Rose is still holding one of his hands, but he's just frozen in place.
Hang-on, Rose has seen the torch light from our rescue team!
Yep, it takes Rose a solid 15secs to realise that Jack has died. Now when I saw this movie 23yrs ago I was in tears - we all wanted that fairy-tale ending for them both. Rose has to let go of Jack - both physically and emotionally. We watch as Jack sinks to the depths of the ocean... and now Rose has to fight. She has to take all of the lessons she's learned, and the spirit that Jack awakened within her, to fight for her life.
Where the fuck did that guy with the whistle go??! Rose is in the water! She swims - dog-paddles - to where the dead Officer is bobbling and, tentatively at first, begins blowing. She actually gets a good whistle going because they've heard her... she's been saved!
Eldery Rose: Fifteen-hundred people went into the sea, when Titanic sank from under us. There were twenty boats floating nearby… and only one came back. One. Six were saved from the water, myself included. Six… out of fifteen-hundred. Afterward, the seven-hundred people in the boats had nothing to do but wait… wait to die… wait to live… wait for an absolution… that would never come
As the survivors recover on the deck of the Carpathia - already segregated according to class - Rose decides to live. She hides from Billy Zane amidst the 3rd class passengers and gives her name as Rose Dawson - as if she were Jack's wife.
This bit I found too rich to believe - as the Carpathia sails past the Statue of Liberty - Rose finds something in the pocket of her coat. Now this coat is Billy Zane's coat - he gave it to Rose right before he started shooting at her. Incredibly, she still has it on. And even more incredibly, she's finally put her hands in her pockets, and finds... the Heart of the Ocean!!! That's right! That big blue diamond is not at the bottom of the ocean like Bill Paxton thinks - it has made its way to New York in 1912. So, where the hell is it now?
Well, to find out we have to leave the past and come full circle back to Rose - the elderly Rose. She has just finished her story.
Eldery Rose: Now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson, and that he saved me in every way that a person can be saved. I don't even have a picture of him. He exists now only in my memory
In the same place where so many people lost their lives, Rose - the 101yo with red painted toe-nails - makes her way to the rear of the salvage vessel and, ever so cheekily, drops the Heart of the Ocean overboard, returning it to it's rightful home - the ocean. She then goes to her cabin - and dies. The photo's that she brought with her, show a life well-lived. She has travelled the world; she got an education; she had a career; she learned to fly a plane; she had a family… she experienced life in a way she never would have had it not been for Jack - and just as she promised she would.
Fittingly, the movie ends with the wreck of the Titanic springing back to glorious life. The souls who died that fateful night, are waiting for Rose as she makes her way to the grand-staircase - where Jack is waiting for her by the grandfather clock. And Rose is young again.
A great way to end a really, really long movie.
Fun Fact: Titanic was the most expensive movie ever made at the time. It grossed 2.195 billion USD!!