By Reem Benadada
The Hollywood hit Titanic celebrated its 25th anniversary on February 8th. To mark the anniversary, for one day only, the blockbuster made a comeback in cinemas around the world, just in time for Valentine’s Day on February 14th. The 3D/4D experience brought back the tragic story of the 1912 shipwreck told through the lens of fictional characters Jack and Rose. Despite this remaster not breaking box office records like the original, it brought in an impressive $22.3 million globally.
Ever since day one, Titanic has been James Cameron's most adored piece and this release goes to show how cherished it still is. It’s won 11 Academy Awards, including the well-deserved Oscars for best cinematography and best visual effects. Despite the visuals and acting, I continue to contemplate how it’s so critically acclaimed when underneath, the film lacks a great amount of respect.
The film industry, just like many others, is constantly on the look for what will profit them millions. In this case, human tragedies were used as the road to success. In reality, the sinking of the Titanic killed over 1500 people. In spite of this, James Cameron used the incident as an excuse to make a fictional romance. The film is the reason some know about the tragedy; wouldn't it have been a good opportunity to educate people on what really happened during the shipwreck? Using controversial topics on purpose is a way we've seen James Cameron gain attention in the past, such as, in Avatar. The film revolves around the topic of colonialism, presenting it in a mocking way of the real life conflict between Europeans and Indigenous Peoples.
In both the Titanic and Avatar we see examples of films trying to gain attention from real-life events in disrespectful ways to get people talking. All this is to say even the most critically acclaimed films can have hurtful flaws -- so before following the next megahit, challenge the praise and dig deeper into what’s behind the critical praise.