Titanic, the unsinkable ship sank: a critical Marxist approach
The film began with the search for the valuable and precious Heart of the Ocean necklace. Brock Lovett and his team believed that the necklace sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean along with the Titanic. They failed numerous times until they found a vault that they believe contains the necklace. As it was broadcast live on TV, they opened the vault only to be very dismayed that there was no diamond necklace inside. Just a sketch of a naked woman wearing the treasure they were looking for. Lovett was hopeless until he received a phone call from an elderly woman who claimed to know who the naked woman was.
Rose along with her granddaughter landed on Lovett’s ship. She didn’t want to believe Rose. Not until she said that she is the woman in the drawing. She began to narrate the story of her as a first class passenger on the “unsinkable” ship.
The flashback began with the arrival of a carriage with Rose DeWitt Bukater, her mother Ruth, and her rich and ignorant fiancé Caledon Hockley. First class passengers boarded the Titanic. At the same time, a young Jack Dawson won third-class tickets to the Titanic in a game of poker with his friend Fabrizio.
Rose was forced by her mother to marry Cal to save her demeaning wealth status. Unhappy to marry a man she doesn’t love, she ran to the edge of the Titanic near the propellers and planned to commit suicide by throwing herself into the icy ocean. Fortunately, Jack saw Rose trying to jump off the railing. He successfully talked her out of jumping. “You jump I jump.” he said. As a thank you to Jack, Rose urged Cal to take him out for dinner. After said dinner, Jack secretly invited Rose over for “the real fun.” That’s in the third class match. They had a lot of fun and Rose was free to do the things she was never able to do with first class people. They began to fall in love with each other.
On the other hand, Bruce Ismay, the owner of the ship, proposed to Captain Thomas Andrews that he moor the course of the Titanic to gain publicity. And yes, indeed. They got publicity in a different way.
Jack and Rose continued to see each other on the boat despite Rose’s mother disagreeing. Rose asked Jack, who was an amazing artist, to draw a nude of her using only the Heart of the Ocean. They were enjoying the night until the Titanic hit the iceberg. The first affected were the lowest part of the ship where the workers were.
As the Titanic sank, all the women and children asked to board little boats and some less fortunate poor people were locked below. On the other hand, Jack was framed by Cal for stealing the Heart of the Ocean and was locked in a room as a prisoner. Rose refused to board the lifeboat with her mother and some first-class passengers. Instead, she went back to find Jack. The two battled through thick and thin. They ran into Cal, who forced Rose into the lifeboat and told her a lie that he and Jack had their own lifeboat to catch. As she lowered the lifeboat, Rose simply couldn’t bear the thought of being without it, so she jumped back into the sinking Titanic.
Cal was so enraged that he tried to shoot them dead, but was unsuccessful. After the ship sank, Rose and Jack held cold hands as Rose lay on a floating door and Jack froze in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Jack was already frozen before help arrived. When Rose got to safety, she saw Caledon looking for her and hid from him. In the pocket of the coat Cal lent her was the Heart of the Ocean. When asked what her name was, instead of saying her real name, she said Rose Dawson.
The movie ended with old Rose throwing the Heart of the Ocean overboard. That night she dreamed that Jack was waiting for her on the great steps of the Titanic, they kiss and are applauded by those who were lost in the disaster.
The movie featured many events, but this review will mainly focus on its Marxist approach. In the most important part of Rose’s flashback, the different social classes were already introduced. The ship was divided into three classes; the first class, the middle class and the third class. However, the movie mainly focused on the first and third class. Before entering the Titanic, all but first class passengers would undergo a certain inspection for lice and baggage. First class passengers have a different entrance where they don’t even have to join the rest of the passengers and can enter freely without any inconvenience. It was also shown in the story how wrong it was for first class passengers to mix with third class passengers and vice versa.
Then, when Jack saw Rose’s stunning beauty, his friend Fabrizio instantly told him that she is a very rich woman and it would be almost impossible to be with her. Another, when Jack was invited to a first-class dinner, it was evident to Rose and Cal’s mother how different they felt with Jack because he was not like them. But of course, not all first-class people are like that because there were Rose and Molly Brown who didn’t care about Jack’s social class at all.
The difference of the social gatherings of the first class passengers and the third class passengers was also shown in the film. At a first-class social gathering, men and women drink soft classical music, tobacco, and expensive wine. They were expected to act in a sophisticated manner. While downstairs at the third-class party, classical music was playing at full volume, everyone can freely dance, laugh and enjoy themselves. They hold large mugs of beer as they jump up and down to the music. Rose was amused by this experience, but in the society they lived in at the time, it was very wrong. Her mother forbade her from being with Jack because she was supposed to marry Cal, a rich man who can save them from the great loss of his wealth.
Finally, that devastating moment came when the Titanic hit an iceberg. Something very disappointing and disturbing happened when the passengers were getting into the lifeboats. The wives and children of the first class passengers were the first to board, but not only that was annoying. A boat that was designed and tested to hold 64 men was not filled to capacity because the first-class passengers were afraid and resented that they were too cramped in the lifeboat. 3,327 souls were on board, but those people were still thinking of their selfish convenience. Another injustice occurred when third-class passengers were locked on their ship’s level as the Titanic sank. Despite the depressing situation, people still thought of nothing but themselves and didn’t even have a conscience in their hearts. The last representation of an unfair system was when the entire Titanic sank. Many people managed to float in the middle of the ocean with life jackets, crying and screaming for help. The ship carrying the first class passengers, despite having a lot of free space, did not even extend aid to the dying passengers. However, the boat that was full and packed with third-class passengers returned to save the survivors. The capacity of 20 lifeboats that the Titanic had was quite questionable since it can only accommodate 1,178 people. However, not even 1,178 people survived. Only 706 lived to tell the tale.
The movie also won many awards for many reasons. He gave justice to the sinking of the Titanic. He didn’t sugarcoat things that happened. From social classes to the actual sinking of the Titanic; everything was commendable and outstanding. Jack and Rose’s story, although fictional, was presented realistically, except for the part where they fell madly in love with each other for a very short period of time. But to me, it was quite acceptable even though it lacked a bit of a realistic plot because Rose found her genuine happiness with Jack and he found it with her too. Love can’t be measured by time spent together anyway. The cinematography was also praiseworthy. The sinking of the Titanic ship was presented factually. It was really based on the actual event. The chosen soundtracks were made precisely for the film. According to Janet Maslin of The New York Times, Titanic is a massive and thrilling three and a quarter hour experience that unerringly draws viewers into the beauty and suffering of its lost world. And it really did. The film contains life’s most important lessons and insights. First, until this generation, social discrimination continues to occur. It is everywhere no matter where you are. I can’t give a direct solution, but all I can do is tell you to look around you and see if we will live a better life if we keep judging people based on their social class. It is true indeed. There are rich, middle and poor people. But that does not mean that we make the poor poorer and the rich richer. Second, fight for what is right. We live in a world where evil exists and yes, we cannot completely eradicate it. But we can decrease it and prevent it from dominating. Start with yourself. Be an ambassador of righteousness and hopefully everyone will follow you. In times of despair and hopelessness, how far will you go to save your life and the lives of those you love? Everything, something and nothing. You can do anything, to the point of being selfish like Cal and some first class passengers or selfless like Jack. You can do something, and this is rarely found in people because this something does not give anyone a step, but gives a helping hand like Rose. And lastly, you can’t do anything at all as hopelessness swallows you deep and darkness creeps into your heart, just like the rest of the victims of the Titanic, the unsinkable ship that sank.