Titanic

Tucson Weekly

DIRECTED BY: James Cameron

REVIEWED: 01-20-98

To anybody who sees this movie expecting subtlety and impeccable historical detail: What planet are you from? This is James Cameron we're talking about--the guy whose last movie ended with a kiss in front of a mushroom cloud. Titanic is hardly trying to steal fire from Merchant/Ivory films. What's surprising, though, is how well the movie's simple romance carries the spectacular disaster effects, and how well the poor-boy/rich-girl aspect emphasizes the class stratification on the ship. (I'd take the hot little triangle of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Billy Zane over a boring group of Poseidon Adventure-style sufferers any day.) Cameron has always been a workmanlike director, and despite multitudes of hackneyed situations and hokey lines, his by-the-numbers romantic scenario gets the job done--so well, in fact, that the little story and big one somehow manage to merge and transcend themselves. At least for this reviewer, by film's end Titanic became unexpectedly moving, visually arresting and haunting.

--Woodruff

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