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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Camille Paglia: some entertaining thoughts, and a movie review...

Camille, how can an educated, classy woman like you not see through that horrific film "Titanic?

Kate Winslet's character, Rose, was one of the vilest and most disgusting characters ever to grace the silver screen. From beginning to end, she displayed nothing but character flaws and a lack of concern for everyone else around her. As the movie starts, she is a rich brat who is depressed that she has to marry an incredibly rich and handsome man because he treats her badly. Perhaps she should have taken into account his personality rather than his bank account when she accepted his proposal.

Rather than take responsibility for her own actions, stand up to her mother, and tell him to his face that she is not in love with him, she instead decides to take the easy way out and kill herself. Now, the whole world would be better had she just jumped off the back of that damn boat. Instead, our boy Leonardo DiCaprio talks her down from the ledge, and she sees him and thinks, "Ooh, cute poor boy." So then she decides to slum it for the weekend and hook up with the cute poor kid. Then, to prove her total lack of morals, she decides that she will ask Jack to "draw her" -- naked, of course.

So, while engaged to someone else (because she never had the decency to call it off), she decides to get naked for a guy she has known for all of about 24 hours. Immediately afterward it's time to consummate the hours-old relationship in the back of a car that is not theirs. Wow, that's a real "moral" Victorian woman for you! Of course, that is not enough. The ship hits the iceberg (we didn't see that one coming). By the way, she was on deck when that happened. I wonder if our lookout was too busy snooping on her and Jack to notice the iceberg. Maybe it's actually her fault the ship sinks in the first place.

Anyway, our hero Jack puts Rose on a lifeboat. Of course, being safe is not enough, so she jumps back onto the sinking ship -- a prime example of great decision-making. After it goes down, Jack is safe on a door of some sort, but he has to give up his spot to save Rose. Now Rose is on the door, and Jack is stuck in the freezing waters. So in a sense she kills Jack in a slow, frigid, painful way -- sort of like the experience I felt while watching this movie. She holds on to Jack's shivering hand, telling him, "I'll never let go, Jack, I'll never let go." Of course, after a few minutes in Arctic waters, Jack's hand is no longer shivering. Winslet, in tears, continues, "I'll never let go, Jack, I'll never let go." Around then, the lifeboat arrives, and Winslet immediately lets go, "Hey, I'm over here!" Jack sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and Ms. Winslet grabs a spot on the lifeboat. Real nice, Kate, real nice: Whatever happened to never letting go?

We then hear the rest of Winslet's life. Her fiancé loses his mind and ends up killing himself (you're two for two, Kate). However, she finds a nice man, marries him, and lives a great life. Eventually, he dies (I wonder what she did to make that happen), and we see Winslet's Rose again at age -- I don't know, let's say 126 -- with her granddaughter or whoever is on the ship trying to find the Titanic's wreckage. At the end of the film, Rose walks to the back of the ship and takes the priceless diamond necklace that she could give to her grandchildren, which would set her family up for generations, but instead she throws the freaking necklace into the ocean! Queue overplayed, overhyped and over-sung Celine Dion song (I mean, seriously, by the end she is practically screaming the lyrics -- like Celine, we get it, you have a great voice, stop assaulting us with it already).

Back to throwing the fancy necklace: She might as well have thrown three generations of her family over the side of the ship. Could she possibly be more selfish? Well, yes, she could, because then, apparently Rose dies, and we see her in heaven. For some reason, heaven is the Titanic (not exactly what I picture paradise to be). She opens up a stateroom door, and there is Leonardo's Jack waiting for her in bed. Not her actual husband, mind you, but Jack. So she is even cheating on her husband in heaven.

I rest my case. The vilest, most horrifying character in cinematic history. An Academy Award for playing the she-devil would be one of the greatest travesties in mankind's history since ... the actual Titanic.


dorian said...

Very interesting view on the character "Rose". If you look upon it like this, then it's your world, and everyone is entitled to their own *smiles*.
In my view, Rose is the real hero of the story; it's HER story, and I enjoy it every time I watch it. I have to need to judge on her or anyone of the other characters. It's a story, and I love it.
And, please, do not mix the characters' names with the names of the actress/actor. It's NOT Leo and Kate, it's Jack and Rose - wich are in every way, fictional.

Moneyrunner said...

I sympathize with the writer of this review. I, too, see "Rose" as one of those silly, priviledged people for whom the world is all about them. She's s silly twit, but for many it's an entertaining movie.