Titanic – Ending Explained & Film Analysis

Mysteries of the movie “Titanic” by James Cameron

It took James Cameron ten long years to create the film, recognized as the best melodrama of all times and peoples – from the moment he saw the documentary about “Titanic” in 1987. He reacted to the filming with his inherent thoroughness and scope, trying not only to accurately reproduce the appearance and interiors of the famous ship, but also to convey the spirit of the era. However, Titanic is least of all a re-enactment film. To keep the title of the highest grossing film in the history of cinema for 12 years and to collect $ 1.8 billion, it is necessary to touch the hearts of millions of viewers, to create a universal story that everyone will like. It’s almost impossible, but Cameron managed to connect the incompatible: a symbolic parable and a romantic story.

The hidden meaning of James Cameron's Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

Why Titanic?

Although Cameron’s love for underwater filming is well known, he turned to the story of the sinking of the Titanic not because he wanted to see the remains of a sunken ship with his own eyes (however, the director did not deny himself this pleasure, having plunged 12 times to the bottom of the ocean in Russian bathyscaphes). The fact is that the sinking of the Titanic is considered one of the most iconic disasters in European history.

The huge luxury ship is the epitome of the world that existed before the First World War. In this world, there are insurmountable class barriers between the rich and the poor, women have no right to decide their own destiny, and marriages are concluded for financial reasons. The young heroes of the film, Jack and Rose, rebel against this world with all its magnificence and vileness, and the sinking of the ship, which sank in 1912, is a harbinger of the death of that “yesterday’s Europe”, about which Stefan Zweig once wrote so well.

The hidden meaning of James Cameron's Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

In a sense, “Titanic” is a parable about a world that is doomed, because money and titles mean more in it than love and fidelity. At the same time, the depiction of the catastrophe opens up inexhaustible opportunities for staging spectacular and spectacular scenes, and the director must be given his due: the episode when the lights go out on the Titanic plunging into the icy abyss belongs to one of the most exciting shots in world cinema.

Did the heroes have prototypes in reality?

Such extraordinary and memorable minor characters of the film, as the captain of “Titanic” and energetic Molly Brown, existed in reality, but everyone is always worried about the main characters. Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt Bukater, performed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, turned out to be so lively and real that viewers and journalists immediately began looking for their prototypes.

The hidden meaning of James Cameron's Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

Were found as many as four genuine passengers of the sunken ship, who have lived for more than a hundred years. True, they all evacuated in lifeboats, unlike Rose. However, fans of the film did not give up: a woman named Rhoda Abbott remained on the deck of the sinking Titanic – she did not want to get into the boat without her teenage sons. Rode, caught in the icy water, managed to survive, and some journalists, having unearthed this story, hastened to declare the woman the prototype of Rose, especially since their names have some similarities. However, we do not have the slightest evidence proving that Cameron was inspired by the story of Rhoda Abbott or another real passenger on the Titanic.

Likewise, there is no evidence that a 23-year-old ship fireman named Joseph Dawson has anything to do with the hero DiCaprio. It is known that a native of Dublin, Joseph Dawson was fond of boxing, not painting, and was in love with his friend’s sister Nelly (according to some reports, they even got married). The director himself claims that he did not know anything about this man before the release of the film.

Jack and Rose, as the director himself admits, is nothing more than Romeo and Juliet from Titanic. But their romance is very different from that of the Veronese lovers, although there are many parallels between the two stories: enmity (family or class), young age, sudden feelings and a tragic ending.

What’s so unusual about Jack and Rose’s romance?

Cameron would not be a great director if he showed the viewer another variation of the love triangle “beautiful girl – hated groom – ardent boy lover.” Rose’s problem is not only that she does not love the groom (although she really does not love him), but also that she does not want to be a thing, a toy in the wrong hands. Before marriage, she is forced to obey the will of her mother; after marriage, she will obey her husband. Almost all “ladies from society” of that time lived like this, but Rose cannot and does not want to live like that. But she sees no way out of this situation – until she meets Jack.

The hidden meaning of James Cameron's Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

Jack’s love – strong, freedom-loving and talented – allows Rose to find herself. Never again will she live according to someone else’s scenario, play the role imposed on her. Judging by the pictures surrounding the aged Rose, she lived a bright and eventful life, having realized most of her dreams.

Thus, in the film “Cameron” we see a modern interpretation of love as a feeling that gives inner freedom and helps to find your way.

Why did Jack die?

The director himself, who was recently asked this question again, replied that Jack died because it was written in the script. From the very beginning, he was conceived as a dramatic character. If Rose reminds us that true love is inseparable from freedom, then the image of Jack is associated with its other side – self-sacrifice and selflessness. In the soul of someone who truly loves, there is no place for selfishness, and the life of a loved one is dearer to him than his own. With the tragic death, Jack proves the truth and correctness of his ideals, as well as the simple truth that love is stronger than death: after all, Rose continued to love him all her life.

The hidden meaning of James Cameron's Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

Why did Rose throw the blue diamond into the water?

To understand the scene when the aged Rose, once again finding herself above the sinking site of the Titanic, throws the Heart of the Ocean diamond into the abyss of water, it is necessary to remember what this stone meant to the main character. This is a memory of the past and a symbol of her love, which she kept all her life. The price of the stone does not matter to Rose – only memory is important. Realizing that her life and history is coming to an end, she returns the diamond to the ocean. This is Rose’s last gift to her beloved Jack.

The hidden meaning of James Cameron's Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

At first glance, illogical, this act has a deep inner logic. Rose and Jack’s love was as pure and unique as Heart of the Ocean. And just like the whereabouts of the diamond, this love was a secret to everyone. To transfer the stone into the wrong hands, to make it an object of sale and purchase meant to desecrate the memory of this feeling, and love for Rose was and remains dearer than all the treasures of the world.

The hidden meaning of James Cameron's Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

Does the main character die in the finale?

Viewers often argue: did Rose die in the finale or just fell asleep? Given her age, both versions have the same right to exist. The director deliberately avoided giving an exact answer, leaving space for the audience’s imagination. By and large, it is not so important whether Rose died that night or lived another year or two: the story of two lovers from the Titanic is over, and the circle is complete.

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