Can you believe it's been exactly 20 years today since the epic blockbuster Titanic was released in German cinemas? A masterpiece and record breaker in almost every aspect, Titanic perfectly combined the real-life story of the ship's tragic sinking with the fictional love story of poor kid Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and upper-class lady Rose (Kate Winslet)…
The Story: My heart will go on…
The epic journey of the film starts in 1996 – 84 years after the "unsinkable" RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and tragically sank and claimed many lives on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York, USA.
In 1996, the wreck of the Titanic has been located somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean, so treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) goes down there hoping to find a precious necklace with a rare blue diamond. This necklace is also known as "The Heart of the Ocean".
But instead of the hoped for treasure, Lovett and his team recover a safe with a drawing of a young naked woman wearing nothing but the necklace. This drawing is dated April 14, 1912 – the night the ship sank.
It turns out that Rose Dawson Calvert (Gloria Stuart), now 101 years old, is the woman in the drawing. Together with her granddaugther, she is helicoptered to the research vessel Keldysh. Here, she tells Lovett her very personal story on board the RMS Titanic…
Flashback to April 1912: A then 17-year-old Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) boards the ship with her mother Ruth (Frances Fisher) and her fiancé Caledon "Cal" Hockley (Billy Zane) as a first-class passengers in Southampton, England.
Cal is a very rich man, but also incredibly arrogant, snobbish and at times violent. Rose despises him. However, her mother urges her to marry Cal in order to solve their financial problems.
Distraught over the engagement, Rose considers suicide by jumping from the ship. But a chance encounter with the poor young artist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) changes her opinion and the two fall in love.
On the fatal night of April 14, they "run away" from Cal and his "bodyguard" and enjoy a few carefree hours of their young romance.
But we all know what happens next: The Titanic hits an iceberg and as the sinking is inevitable, the full drama unfolds.
Now, Rose and Jack not only have to fight for their love, but also for their survival…
The Location: From Canada to Mexico
When the film starts, we see footage of the real Titanic's wreck – located somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Otherwise, the filming of Titanic was pretty much an "indoor affair" with most of the scenes having been shot in film studios. These included studios in Vancouver (Canada), California (USA) and the Baja Studios in Mexico.
It was too expensive to recreate the whole Titanic just for the film, so director James Cameron only rebuilt one side of the Titanic and then used a back-to-front mirror effect for filming. But even without the complete recreation of the ship, Titanic was still considered the most expensive film ever made at the time.
Considering it's now been 20 years since the film was shot, the technology used in the film still seems very modern and make the scenes look incredibly realistic to me.
The success of the movie was phenomenal. Not only did it make Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet become worldwide superstars over night, Titanic also won 11 out of 14 Academy Awards the film was nominated for – including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Visual Effects.
My final verdict:
Everything about this film is amazing: The true story of the sinking, the acting and the incredibly realistic looking set. And of course I loved the soundtrack. Who can forget Celine Dion's "My heart will go on"? When the film came out in January 1998, it was played nonstop and remained on top of the charts for a very long time… Overall, one of my favourite films ever!
***** 5 out of 5 stars
Related Travel Post Tip: Discover 5 Titanic Museums And Experiences From Around The World!
Once more with feeling: To round up this post, here is the unforgettable sad, but beautiful video clip for Titanic's main theme song "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion…