Titanic Movie Review
As directed by James Cameron, the movie Titanic is both fiction and non-fiction story that was based on love. The film acted on the ship known as unsinkable, Titanic was a marvel on its era. Events unfolding in the movie reveals at the introduction a salvage crew who are in the search for a diamond nicknamed the “Heart of The Ocean.” The diamond is worth several millions and is alleged to be on the Titanic. The movie entails more than just a description of the events surrounding the demise of the mighty ship, but the love story that lives to be told to hundreds of generations to come.
The movie Titanic combines several techniques used by the director to narrate the tale of two lovers faced with several obstacles in their lives but end up conquering most of them (“Movie Review – FILM REVIEW; A Spectacle As Sweeping As The Sea – Nytimes.Com”). The question remains how James Cameron managed to bring out the story clearly without losing the attention of his audience. Therefore, the paper will perform an analysis of the various mise-en- scene applied in the making of the movie to captivate and communicate important themes.
In the next subtopics, content analysis is employed in the analysis of the film ‘Titanic’. The techniques applied in the analysis of the qualitative perspectives include mise-en-scene elements such as cinematography, lighting, and editing.
In the film, only two settings are evident, the RMS Titanic and the salvage ship. On the introductory part of the movie, the rescue ship dominates as it is the most taken place in the film. It exhibits the working place of Brock Lovett, the treasure hunter alongside other team members. They explore the remaining of the RMS Titanic (“TITANIC FILM ENGLISH”). In their search for the diamond, they discovered a portrait of a nude lady wearing it.
The date scribed on the sketch was the night the RMS Titanic sunk, April 14, 1912. Rose Dawson, an old woman, recognized the painting as her and alongside her granddaughter, they visit the treasure hunter on his salvage ship. As the movie proceeds, Rose recalls her memories while answering the question about the RMS Titanic from Brock Lovett. The setting here is the secondary setting, while the primary setting is that of the RMS Titanic.
The primary setting of the Titanic ship has both the outdoor and the indoor. Starting with the indoor, there are several levels in the RMS Titanic (“RMS Titanic”). The first one being the upper level which contains a restaurant, a church, an extravagant hall, and VIP room. The upper level portrays a sense of high-class culture. The director used this setting to make the audiences feel that this level belongs to the rich and higher level individuals in that society.
On the other hand, the lower level is portrayed slightly as a contrast to the higher standard. Starting with the rooms and restaurant being of low standard, has less decoration and small in size. The room in the upper level is large with a king size bed, while that on the lower level is small and has a double-decker bed set. The room only fits a few individuals who create a perception of the poor or those living in low-class condition.
Secondly, the outdoor of providing a clear picture of the grand of the RMS Titanic ship. Some scenes were taken at the outdoor. The scenes include that where the main character Jack gets excited to get into the Titanic. He pronounces himself as the King of the World. At the outdoor, the scene where Rose wants to commit suicide by jumping into the sea, gets shot. The dialogue in the site is memorable as Jack tells Rose that in the event she jumps, he also drops. The flying scene is also shot at the outdoor where Rose is seen holding Jack while says she says ‘I can fly.’ The scene is a romantic one hence a memorable part of the movie making the audience glued to the film.
It involves an emphasis on the time of day or night, mood, shape, texture, distance, season, glamor, and the season. In the analysis, the movie gets divided into three parts. The beginning part entails where the salvage ship is seen employing the use of a submarine in treasure hunting, the climax part or the rising action part which involves the meeting of Jack and Rose in the ship and the ending part where events occur when RMS Titanic collided with the iceberg (Stevens).
In the introductory section, the director utilizes lighting of low key. It is used in the treasure hunting process as the treasure hunter and his team search for the diamond in the ship which is submerged in the ocean. Low key light was used to create the atmosphere of being in the ocean floor. A spotlight used belonging to the submarine was just for the purpose of illuminating some parts of the RMS Titanic. The director used this to communicate the sense of loneliness and sadness of the ship while submerged under (“TITANIC FILM ENGLISH”).
The other part is the rising action section which takes place after the main character, Rose, gets aboard on the ship and gets to find her soul mate, Jack. In this section of the film, high key is seen alongside yellow lighting emerging from the top section of the Titanic. It promotes the notion and ideology of extravagant and noble-culture. A good example involves the stage where Jack steps into the upper-class level lobby for the first time.
The high-key lighting differs from the standard light in the lower level. In the end, audiences get the feel of the crude and straightforward of lower level alongside the extravagant of the upper section. This particular scene showing the place of working for the manual laborers uses low key light. This communicates the conditions of those poor laborers who work in such a bad surrounding (Rogers).
The climax part involves the part after the Titanic hits the iceberg hence about to sink. The scenes in this section of the movie use the subtle lighting. This is to portray the sense of death approaching those in the Titanic. It strongly contrasts with the extravagant of the Titanic. It shows how the Titanic is about to get destroyed and the attempts of survival by the humans who were on board while it is happening. Since the ship is placed directly in the middle of the Ocean at midnight, the ship is in darkness. While the ship goes under, the light becomes less bright gradually since the lights on the ship are going out.
The editing of the film involves the proximity, depth, proportions and size of the places and objects within a scene which can be manipulated through editing. It can be managed using the camera shot and camera position among others. Few interesting scenes in the film can be utilized for this analysis.
In the first scene, where Rose recalls onboarding the Titanic, the detail shot is from a high angle to her costume. The camera detail clearly tells the audience that Rose comes from the privileged class. The shot also made clear the meaning of the words ‘it was a slave ship to me, taking me back in chains to America’ by the voice-over (Stevens).
On the outside, Rose was all that a well-brought-up girl should look like while her inner-self was troubled and kept in slavery. The Titanic was a dream to many if not everyone but this was never the case for Rose. The camera shot of the RMS Titanic across the sea as it passed smaller boats in the sea portrays how grand the ship was while contrasted to others.
At night, when Rose is seen running out from the restaurant with the intention to jump out of the ship, a high angle shot taken from the scene contrasts the size of the ship to that of a human being. The sea is vast and the human, in this case, Rose, is small. The editing of the scenes where Jack enters for the first time in the first class lobby presents extravagance alongside contrasting the low class and noble people.
The tilt up of the camera to the ceiling and a follow shot of Jack portrayed how tall and wide the first level lobby is to show prestige. The shot where Jack is seen drawing nude pictures of Rose nude while taking a close-up of Rose’s eyes, convey a strong sense of trust, love, and romance dominating the scene.
The film represents much more than the disaster that occurred in the sinking of the unsinkable. The director managed to utilize several techniques to ensure that the audience gets glued to the screen. The methods have been discussed in the film, and it makes more sense when watched (“TITANIC FILM ENGLISH”). It was a masterpiece by James Cameron and his mise-en- scene made the movie quite a unique one in its times.
“Movie Review – – FILM REVIEW; A Spectacle As Sweeping As The Sea – Nytimes.Com”. Nytimes.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
“RMS Titanic”. En.wikipedia.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
Rogers, Kara. “Visual Design Analysis: Titanic”. Kararogersfilmaslit.blogspot.co.ke. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
Stevens, Dana. “I Dismissed Titanic The First Time Around. This Time I Fell In Love.”. Slate Magazine. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
“TITANIC FILM ENGLISH“. YouTube. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
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