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Even though Titanic was released in 1997, it recently came back to theaters for the one hundredth anniversary of the ship’s sinking on April 15th, 1912.

The movie revolves around Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson, two passengers from very different backgrounds that fall in love while on the fateful maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic. Throughout the film, the main issue (besides the sinking of the ship) is the class distinction between Rose and Jack, separating them and inhibiting their relationship.

Social class distinction and wealth could easily be the most prominent theme in the film, for even though it takes place in the early twentieth century, the same issues appear quite often in our modern society. Rose comes from a fabulously wealthy family, and is engaged to one of the richest men. Jack, on the other hand, has no money and claims he “sleep[s] under a bridge.” When the two meet, their class distinction completely fades, and they are nothing but two people. It is everyone else—Rose’s mother, Rose’s fiancé—that have obvious problems with the relationship. Rose’s mother wants Rose to marry Cal, her fiancé, because of his grand fortune, which conveys to the audience that her mother cares more about her wealth and high status than her daughter’s happiness. In addition, Jack brings Rose to a 3rd class “celebration” where men play bagpipes and various instruments as others dance, drink, and enjoy themselves. This scene is contrasted with the wealthy men drinking in a subtle, quiet, and dull room while discussing Rockefeller. The contrast ultimately depicts to the audience that those who are not concerned with wealth will enjoy a more fulfilling life. And when the ship hits the iceberg and everyone fights for their lives to survive, Mr. Murdoch, a crew member, blatantly states “your money can’t save you anymore than it can save me,” which proves that when it comes down to life and death, wealth means nothing.

One major aspect of the movie that made it the incredible experience it was is the design. A model of the ship was built to scale of the Titanic, which made the experience realistic. Of course, special effects were utilized, but no special effects can recreate the horror and tragedy of that fateful night. The movie spends a goof hour and a half showing the audience the downfall of the “largest moving object ever built by man.” The utter horror and devastation of the sinking ship evoked tears in the audience, and every single person in the audience felt like they were on the ship, battling to stay alive. The movie was so realistic and powerful, it almost felt as if I were fighting the frigid waters.

Lastly, the most powerful aspect of the movie was the epic romance between Rose and Jack. Probably one of the most famous and beautiful romances of all time, exemplified the tragedy of the shipwreck, and made it clear to the audience the pain of loss. The audience becomes so invested in the relationship that by the end, you almost feel like you are in the relationship. The beauty of it reminds the world that finding love is never impossible.

The movie teaches the audience that wealth means nothing, that people must live every day like it’s their last, and that they should never wait for tomorrow. It teaches the audience that every person is lucky, one way or another. And lastly, it conveys that anyone and everyone can find love anywhere they look.




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