On this day - 37 years ago - my favorite ocean liner was found! 🤩 In 1985, a US-French expedition led by Jean-Louis Michel of IFREMER and Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, located the wreckage of the Titanic on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 400 miles off Newfoundland.
James’s Cameron’s TITANIC is one of my absolute favorite movies, and not just for this love story, but because the Ship of Dreams has fascinated me since I was a little girl. When the movie first starts, we encounter the remnants of the sunken ship and about why it is being explored. We have a guy named Lovett looking for this beautiful diamond necklace that is called The Heart of the Ocean. They find a portfolio that contains a picture of a young woman wearing the necklace. Flashback to Titanic’s maiden voyage and we meet both Jack and Rose. Jack is excited that he won his ticket to board Titanic in a lucky game of poker and eager to return to America. “Somebody’s life’s about to change”. Rose feels a sense of doom as she is boarding Titanic that will eventually take her back to Philadelphia to marry a man she doesn’t even like. “It was the ship of dreams to everyone else. To me, it was a slave ship, taking me back to America in chains. Outwardly, I was everything a well brought up girl should be. Inside, I was screaming.”
It all becomes too much one night after dinner and we watch Rose running across the ship to the stern, where Jack finds her - standing on the other side of the railing about to jump. Jack talks to her about his life in Wisconsin and ultimately, talks her out of jumping off the back of the ship. In the days following, we see the two of them together talking about life and discussing their hopes and ambitions. Rose can open up to Jack and talk about her deepest fears, dreams, basically anything that she cannot share with her family. Yes, it develops into a love story. Rose tells Jack that she will depart the ship with him when they dock in New York. Two young lovers making plans to defy society. But it is not to be. As we all know, the Titanic hits an ice-berg in the middle of the Atlantic and sinks. Rose survives, and Jack does not. Yes, they both could have fit on the door, but it’s a story without that happy ending. Jack makes Rose promise she will go on and live her life, and she does.
Rose eventually marries another man and has three children. We are not told in the movie if it was a marriage of convenience, but I often think it was because Rose never let go of Jack, and the heaven scene proves that. Towards the end of the movie, we flashback to a scene aboard the Carpathia as Rose realizes the necklace is in the pocket of a coat her fiance Cal had put on her, then back to present day as Rose is again at the stern of the Keldysh; she tosses the necklace into the ocean. As Rose is sleeping in her bed that night, the camera pans around the room and we see the pictures that Rose had mentioned when the movie first started. “That’s nice. I have to have my pictures when I travel.” I know that in every picture, Rose is by herself. Rose riding a horse on the beach with a roller coaster in the background. A few pictures of her as an actress. A picture with an elephant. These are all pictures of her achieving dreams of what she and Jack talked about doing together. The movie pushes us back to the wreckage of Titanic, where she materializes into the beautiful Ship of Dreams and the camera leads us down the promenade deck towards the Grand Staircase where Jack is waiting.
Rose tossed the necklace into the ocean as a reminder of her experience on Titanic, and she had finally let go.