The media has an integral role to play in shaping our ideas of the world around us. The books we read, the movies we watch, the music we listen to influence not just how we think and act, but also help determine our expectations and desires from life. They essentially make up a part of who we are as individuals. Our perceptions of the world, of love and relationships, of our aspirations, are all fashioned by the fictional realms we frequently inhabit during our adolescent years.
One could say that in matters of love, pop culture and the media have huge roles to play in forming our ideals and perceptions of the things we expect from our romantic partners. Everyone wants to be the protagonist of the greatest love story in the world; we want our love lives to be nothing short of a sappy romantic movie; the kind we watch on a rainy day all snuggled up in our blankets with a massive tub of ice cream. We want our love lives to be the kind of movie that makes your heart giddy with love and hope and the promise of a ‘happily ever after’.
Titanic didn’t really patch our fragile hearts up with that promise, but it did teach us a thing or two about love. It’s one of those movies that nearly everyone has seen or at least heard enough to basically know the entire plot. Twenty years on, we’re still not over this masterpiece of a film. This is a movie that is about the indestructibility of love, and its power to save a person in every way that a person needs to be saved. Titanic celebrates what it is to be so tragically human- to be so deeply in love without a care; the urgency of survival, that unruly pride in our material creations, almost to the point of being a fatal flaw.
In celebration of this epic piece of sheer artistic brilliance, we present to you the 10 best scenes from Titanic that make it the greatest love story ever.
1. The first eye contact
Jack is ecstatic to have made to the maiden voyage of the Titanic. He’s perched himself on the lower deck and is busy sketching and talking to a friendly Irishman next to him, when, suddenly, it seems as if the entire world around him stops moving. The Irishman’s voice becomes distant background noise. Jack’s attention has been snatched by someone; and the camera soon turns to Rose, looking somewhat distraught. She looks at him briefly, as if for a quarter of a millisecond and looks away. But then something magical happens- she looks back at him, all the while Jack is still transfixed by her presence. You can tell that his heartbeat has picked up pace, and the young lad is feeling things he didn’t know he could ever feel.
2. The first time Jack saves Rose
Rose’s life is nothing but a series of parties with the same old people and mindless chatter. There’s nothing in her life that excites her, no one that seems to truly love her, care for her or even understand who she is. Not even her fiance, Cal; especially not Cal. She decides to end the misery once and for all by jumping off the rails of the ship. But death doesn’t come to her that easy, because Jack is there to stop her from jumping. For the first time in her life, someone has made Rose feel like her existence matters. Jack doesn’t even know her yet, but not only has he been able to reach out to her like no one else has before, he’s also saved her life quite literally. If that isn’t true love, then I don’t know what is.
3. The first conversation on the deck
The beginning of any successful relationship requires the two people in it to get to know each other first, and that is exactly what Jack and Rose do here. There’s something so beautiful about two people who will eventually fall in love having a conversation with each other, sharing bits and pieces of who they are with each other; talking about their dreams, their insecurities, and learning how to spit like a man.
4. When Jack meets Rose for dinner at the first class deck
Jack is all suited up and ready for that dinner he was promised for saving Rose’s life. Rose is pleasantly surprised to see Jack all cleaned up. He kisses her hand softly and tenderly, the way no one has ever had their hands kissed in reel or real life. They walk arm in arm, like a sophisticated couple, but also snort under their breaths at how ridiculous all of this is. It’s these tiny, unnoticed moments that Jack and Rose share throughout the movie that makes their relationship so perfect. After all, the joy lies in all of the little things and seemingly insignificant moments in life.
Suggested read: Titanic Composer James Horner Dies In Tragic Plane Crash
5. When Jack and Rose go to a real party
Every great love story has one amazing party where the lovers let loose and just have pure, unadulterated fun in each other’s company which leads them to realize how much they enjoy being around each other. Jack and Rose attend the party on the third class section of the ship after the rather insipid first class dinner; he shows her a good time and Rose finally feels like she belongs somewhere. The two of them dance and make merry, and the entire scene makes us feel warm and fuzzy every time we watch it.
6. When Rose is flying
Not only is this one of the greatest scenes from Titanic, but it also one of the greatest scenes of cinematic history. This scene single-handedly holds the power to make Titanic the greatest love story ever told. Rose changes her mind and decides to do what truly makes her happy; she doesn’t care about what the world has to say anymore. It was Jack who frees her from the confines of her suffocating first class life, and shows her a life beyond phony dinner-table conversations. Rose and Jack share their first kiss at the bow of the ship, flying into the sunset to the sound of the most iconic piece of music ever composed. This is one of the many scenes from Titanic that all of us secretly wish to experience at least once in our lives. Being so utterly and hopelessly in love is a beautiful feeling.
7. “Draw me like one of your French girls”
There might be plenty of memes about this famous dialogue from Titanic, but not once does that take away the charm from this scene. This scene is sensuous, erotic and adorable all at the same time. As 101 year old Rose describes it later, this was the most erotic moment of her life, but there were also moments of playfulness in it, like when Rose mocks Jack for his serious face and laughs at how evidently bashful Jack seems throughout the time that he’s sketching her. This scene is mature, but it also has an air of innocence about it- the way Jack gets flustered at Rose’s request and seeing her like that for the first time or how Rose feels nervous but puts on a brave face. They’re young and they’re in love; they’re doing things without thinking of the consequences and they’re making each moment count, just like Jack had said at that dinner party.
8. When Jack and Rose went to the stars
Having just escaped from the grasps of Cal’s valet turned detective, Jack and Rose are hiding away in a far corner of the ship in their own little world. They’re reaching for the stars and there’s no one who could possibly stop them. This is where their love is truly set in stone, never to be destroyed. Only Kate Winslet and Leonardo di Caprio could have mastered a scene like this so innocently and charmingly. They’re both scared, but they couldn’t care less. Love makes us all a little fearless, doesn’t it?
9. “You jump I jump, right?”
Among all the romantic scenes in this movie, if we could pick one to prove that it is one of the greatest love stories it would be this one. This is a moment of panic, despair and separation. Rose must board one of the lifeboats meant just for the women and children of the ship, and Jack must stay behind on the sinking ship. His face is that of resigned acceptance, he knows this is the last time he will ever see her. But all of that changes, when Rose gets off the lifeboat. Jack knows how stupid it was of Rose to come back on the sinking ship, but deep down he’s never been happier to see her. The panic that comes with the need for survival remains a constant, the wailing children and women in the background being a source of that cacophony; but together, Jack and Rose feel like they can even conquer death, if only temporarily.
10. “I’ll never let go, I promise”
You’d have to be a heartless person to not feel at least a tinge of sadness while watching this scene. Love hurts the most when it’s snatched away from you, and no one experiences that better than Rose. But she has a promise to keep. A promise she made to the person she loved the most. And she wasn’t going to break it. It is Jack’s love that fuels Rose’s resilience and her strength to fight for her life; love holds the power to continue to give us strength even the people we love are gone. Love never dies.
Even after twenty long years, this film continues to be a favorite among all ages not just for being one of the greatest love stories to have ever been made, but also for its sheer cinematic brilliance. This is the tragic story of the sinking of an unsinkable ship; the story of two lovers who were united only to be parted by death. It is the story of a man so consumed by himself that he was too selfish to love the woman he was supposed to marry; the story of a young Italian lad who won tickets to ship that would eventually sink and take him along for the ride; it is the story of a proud engineer who failed not just himself but two thousand and two hundred souls. The ship may have sunk; but the stories on that ship will never die.
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