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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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(Published in The Sunday Guardian, on 8 April 2012, retrieved from

Cast: Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Zane, Gloria Stuart
Director: James Cameron
Rating: 3.5 stars
It was with some trepidation that I settled down to watch Titanic in 3D, fifteen years after I last did. Over the years, several poses, dialogues and scenes from the film have turned so iconic and been spoofed so often that the idea of reliving their actual enactment is surreal. However, as scene after memorable scene unfolded, I realised I was feeling nostalgic, not snide.
Watching something from a decade and a half ago takes us back to who we were then – to the insularity of our childhoods, to the absence in our lives of the friends, jobs, cities, and partners we can’t remember doing without, to the memory of the people we’ve lost in the time. It reminds us of the days we sang along with My Heart Will Go On, when we hoped desperately that something would happen to stop this ship from sinking. For the record, I did both again, now.
The film also takes us back to a young Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, who were yet to establish themselves, and makes us marvel at how well the duo played characters that were far from perfectly etched. We realise just how natural the innocence in the eyes of Rose DeWitt Bukater as she looks at Jack Dawson, the naked longing in his, the thrill with which she tells him the dirty secrets of her acquaintances, the endearing smugness with which he glances at her in his borrowed suit, and the excitement of the “real party” he takes her to were.
I was dreading 3D overkill, especially given that the conversion cost $18 million, and took longer to execute than the movie did to film. To his credit, James Cameron uses the technology judiciously. The lengthy prelude is far more entertaining when we explore the wreck in 3D. The transformation, as the older Rose (Gloria Stuart) begins her narration, is even more fascinating, and being shown around the contours of the ship is glorious. The painstaking attention to detail with which production designer Peter Lamont has recreated the ship is brought alive with the added dimension. A couple of scenes may make you lurch forward in your seat, your heart in your mouth.
The Verdict: Who’d say no to a trip down such an opulent memory lane? But after all the hoopla about the movie being uncensored this time, people who’re hoping to catch a nude Kate Winslet in 3D must be warned – the film has a U/A rating, so don’t bother.


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