Let’s take a break from my heavier topics to talk about something we all love:Titanic

Just kidding.

I know not everyone, including myself, loves this movie. But I do think it’s worth discussing even if you hate it’s guts, or if you’re one of those with an undying love for the franchise.

We have to consider why this movie was and is such a hit. Because it tells us a lot about people and what they like, and what they secretly dream about.

I really don’t think the actors or the score are what make or break a movie like titanic. That is, I don’ think good actors guarantee a hit, or a good score. But I do think they sell the plot.

It sounds weird to say you love a movie that it as least one third tragedy, and almost as frustrating as Romeo and Juliet in terms of how differently it could have gone if something had just turned in the couple’s favor.

But, even though when I saw Titanic it was on TV, with commercial breaks, and I was not completely swept up by the romance, I recognized something about the film was entrapping.

I escaped the craze by a few years or many more, so I didn’t have that bias stacked against me when I watched. By the time I saw it there were plenty of haters, but I’d talked to some girls around my age who liked it anyway. But didn’t rave over it.

Titanic was basically the Frozen of adult movies, from what I can gather from those who witnessed the craziness. The difference being adults didn’t have to be as embarrassed about liking it. (Until people turned against it.)

And I’m not going to say it was right or wrong to love Titanic. I will reiterate that I don’t love it personally, but that’s taste on my part. I could easily see how it would hook folks. I do enjoy it in some ways, and I do, still, like the song. (Sue me.) I think it was a well made film.

But the part I found impossible to get out of my head for days was the sinking. It wasn’t actually Rose and Jack’s part in it that moved me (though that’s sad in of itself,) it was the actual tragedy they showed. Stuff that probably really happened. I think the Musicians playing is a recorded fact. So is the line that :God himself couldn’t sink that ship” Someone did say that.

Titanic may be a good romance, depending on your taste, but it’s lasting impression is because it depicts the folly of arrogance and pride. And how they lead people to destroy themselves by being incautious. Titanic, the queen of the fleet, as it were, was brought down by an iceberg just like any common ship could be.

Never reckon without the force of Nature folks. It is God’s territory, and whether God sank the Titanic  personally or not it doesn’t matter. What really sank it was the idiocy of the people aboard. Speeding when they should have slowed. Leaving half the life boats at home when they could have saved hundreds more people. Not letting the poor leave the ship, locking them in steerage.

And the movie makes us feel this, which is important, because you often can’t get that feeling just from reading an emotionless account of the story. We need to learn from our mistakes.

Titanic may not be a great loss of life compared to a War. But it springs from the same source. Neglect, arrogance, leaders misleading people.

Which in the movie is personified by Rose’s ex. Who is a bully and almost a murderer. And a coward.

It’s sad to me when the Captain goes down with the ship in utter despair and shame for what he let happen. And heart rending when the minister is reciting Psalms 23 and desperate people are listening as they wait for death.

By contrast, the fact that Rose and Jack don’t freeze to death after twenty minute in the lower levels of the ship makes me feel less sympathy for them. Because it’s unreal.

But I get it, not everyone cares.

The real point isn’t how real or unreal it is, but what we carry away from it. Thought the romance is nice, I think it’s a mistake to act like that was the only thing in the movie that made people cry. And I doubt it was what made them remember it either.

The romance is the euphoria of it. It’s the reason you watch it again. Because at the end Rose almost seems to beat the tragedy. In her dream (or her death) being reunited with Jack. Literally living the dream we have, that all bad things can be avoided, or turned into something beautiful.

The wish we all have that we could change history, whether or own or the world’s to make it devoid of tragedy.

That’s whey movies like Titanic and the Notebook are popular. It’s not just women’s wish fulfillment, (though men will pretend that it is,) it’s humanity’s wish. Our longing.

And whether you say it’s stupid or not, you’ve felt it at one point. Claim you’re older, wiser, (in reality more cynical,) but you felt it once.

There are those who think Titanic was hit because of its theme of true love conquering all. A christian them, Christians will claim.

It could be. I certainly think Frozen was a hit for that reason.

But, the Bible says the World sees and soon forgets the truth of God. If Christian truth is what makes a movie a smash it at first, it’s not what endures of it for most people.

I don’t call the fanatic obsession with either Titanic or Frozen a godly thing. I don’t think it has anything to do with God, after a certain point, though it might have started that way.

The fact is, people make idols of these stories. They chase the dream that the movie showed them a glimpse of, thinking it came from the movie itself, instead of just being portrayed by it.

Which is why in the end the world or culture turns against the art it once loved, because the art proved empty.

Of course it did, it was never the paint itself that made a portrait good but what the paint made you think of. Which could be done by a charcoal sketch just as effectively.

I am not discrediting the beauty of fine art, I love it. But it’s fine because of the ideals the people painted it with.  It’s the invisible attributes of things that make you love them. Not the visible. IT never lasts forever.

And those are my thoughts on Titanic.



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