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“Titanic” by James Cameron Analytical Essay

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Updated: Nov 26th, 2019

Screenplay Storyline

The “Titanic” movie starts with a scene under the ocean where pictures are dark blue, and then a light appears in the background. There are few submarines movements in the darkness and then light shines on a “ghost ship emerging from the darkness” (Cameron 2). Some fans of this movie say that, the first scene is remarkable because the shots were taken from actual recording of the real Titanic (Barton 119).

The head of the excursion is Brock Lovett and is just exploring to find valuables, which might have been carried to the ship. However, the team finds a safe with drawings and other decomposed papers. Interestingly, one of the drawings is of a naked woman wearing diamond. This drawing is suitably named “The Heart of the Ocean” (Cameron 70).

As this picture is shown on camera, Rose Calvert calls Lovett claiming that she is the woman in the drawing. She is flown in immediately. She begins to narrate the story of a seventeen-year old girl, Rose DeWitt Butaker, forced into marrying a man she does not love, Cal Hockley. Cal is rich, eccentric, and materialistic. Rose is naïve and troubled (Barton 121) while Cal is old and seemingly experienced These characters set up a distinctive, but anticipated storyline.

The story starts at a farewell of the RMS Titanic. The ship is nicknamed “Unsinkable” (Cameron 25). The first class passengers board with their bags and even pets while third class passengers are checked for lice and diseases.

This scenario is an intriguing contrast of the two groups – the rich and the poor. Jack Dawson, a poor artist, also gets onboard with a friend, Fabrizio De Rossi, who wants to escape to America (Cameron 29). Jack spots Rose on first class level shortly after the ship departures. She is miserable because of her upcoming wedding to Cal. She wants to commit suicide, but luckily, Jack stops her.

A friendship immediately spurts, later to turn into a romantic affair. With the story developing, the ship, on the other hand, is pushed to the limit. The captain wants to break a speed record. Bruce Ismay, one of the passengers, lures Captain Smith into the challenge despite fair warnings. He says, “…Captain, the press already know the size of Titanic, lets amaze them with her speed, as well. We have to give them something new to write…” (Cameron 207).

Taking up the challenge, Captain Smith pushes to full power. It is tragic that the speeding Titanic hits an iceberg leading to its demise in the end. The scenes in the movie are astounding. As the ship hits the iceberg and begins to sink, the experience is one of the most exhilarating moments ever on television (Sandler, and Studlar 15). In essence, the awesome grandeur of actions as the sequence unfolds is perfect for movie making. The intense and suspenseful sinking is thrilling and spectacular.

Every movie has some flaws, and there could be moments when the momentous effects and animations are in waver. Nevertheless, the scenes from the sinking ship are particularly crucial for the development of this great story. The lighting effects and soundtrack make it near perfect. The incredible suspense created in the intertwining scenes surpasses most movies ever created, with the audience terrified, as it tries to guess who survives and who dies.

Use of Strong Language, Characters, and Action

Essentially, the movie seems not to have been meant for children even with a rating of PG-13. The film may be tenser, irritating, and disturbing for younger children. The movie does have some foul language like the use of ‘F’ word twice. However, with three hours running time, profanity is sparse.

Cameron seems to have been extremely keen when writing the script to avoid profanity as much as possible. The film hence develops to be mature even though there is an incidence of nudity (naked Rose)…”In her late teenage or early twenties, a nude woman, posed with some casual modesty” (Cameron 13).

Compared to most movies of today, nudity in Titanic was chaste and brief considering that, Jack did not exploit it. The scene is not presented in a coarse and overly sexual manner; though that was not right for the lead character in a movie rated PG 13. Even with a love scene, the movie just builds this love story, and with that brilliant use of language, children understand that the movie is not promoting sexual behavior.

The thing to worry about is probably the disturbing violence in the movie. There is mass panic when people begin to drown and plunge into the sea as Titanic sinks. Confusion reigns and families stressed as some children get lost amid the ensuing hysteria. “There is a picture of a child, a three year-old, ankle deep at the center of an endless corridor.

The child is alone, seemingly lost and crying” (Cameron 23). Some people even commit suicide by just jumping into the water out of desperation. At the end of the film, there are many dead bodies including infants, floating and frozen.

There is an unbelievable combination of humor, romance, suspense, and action into the script beyond words. The central story is re-invented, by the scriptwriter, to fit the characters. For teenagers to develop immediate interest into each other, (Jack and Rose), is understandable. Rose is suffering emotionally, and Jack supports her, something she is not getting from her fiancé, Cal.

Looking at the use of main characters, there was a unique presentation. Titanic is an emotional epic of a love story on a doomed sea voyage (Lubin 8). Only one character lives long enough to tell the story by the time the ill-fated ship is found. One can easily cry because of the intense emotion.

The dialogue in the movie is somehow lame though it brings about humor and moral righteousness. However, as one reads the script, there emerges a passionate love and romance between Jack and Rose. Because Rose’ fiancé, Cal, is an in love with his money more than he is with Rose; therefore, the story gives a reason why Rose falls for Jack (Lubin 18). Nevertheless, one wonders why Cal is presented as selfish uncaring rich man.

Essentially, if Cal Hockley were to be nice, but weak, probably the story could have developed more diminution. Jacks Dawson, on the other hand, is presented as a character with unknown past and a hazy future having only won a third-class ticket in a poker game. This character develops to become the object of seditious object for Rose DeWitt Bukater fall in love (Sandler, and Studlar 16).

He becomes the showpiece of the film. This relationship is not well developed though, as the two do not have a history together; it is merely a crush. It is tremendously refreshing to have a script with characters relationships that mean something. In the end, the film is a grossly sentimental story, but then it could have strained more if the characters had a deep history together.

Characters bring life to a movie and help to develop the theme of love knowing no boundaries (Lubin 38). An upper class girl, Rose, falls in love with Jack from lower class. They have an emotional connection; an overt move, but it fuels the movie. After a series of trials, Jack and Rose are finally over that and the ship crashes. There are few lifeboats for only 700 out of the 2,200 people onboard (Sandler, and Studlar 15).

The naive love story feels real each time in the movie, and dialogue in such moments is not easy to consume as real life situation. For teenagers in love, it is the innocence and pureness of this, which relationship makes the Titanic disaster more beguiling and extreme. Combined with thrilling action and exceptional animations, the audience feels that Titanic is the ultimate tragedy love-story.

Screenplay: Creative Writing

There are different forms of creative writing ranging from poetry, to playwriting, and there is screenwriting. Plays and screenplays have distinct format that has to be followed (Burt-Thomas 64). A screenplay tells the film producers what to film. It is often highly complicated though it sounds easy.

The difference between screenplay and other forms of creative writing is the dialogue, description of each action, and description of anything that needs to be seen (Burt-Thomas 64). The names of the characters are centered, and every scene has a heading, a slug line. This describes the location as in indoors of outdoor, night or day among others, and it is always in caps.

Works Cited

Barton, Geoff. Developing Media Skills. London: Heinemann, 2001. Print.

Burt-Thomas, Wendy. The Everything Creative Writing Book: All You Need to Know to Write Novels, Play, Short Story, Screenplay, Poem, or Article. Holbrook: Everything Books, 2002. Print.

Cameron, James. “Titanic”. The Internet Movie Script Database, 1996. Web. <>

Lubin, David. Titanic BFI modern Classics. London: BFI Publishing, 1999. Print.

Sandler, Kevin, and Gaylyn Studlar. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. New Jersey. Rutgers University Press, 1999. Print.

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