Pretty much since Titanic premiered and rocketed to the top of box office charts, people have been debating whether or not Jack could have survived at the end of the film. In fact, an entire episode of Mythbusters was dedicated to figuring out if the floating door that saves Rose’s life could have supported both their bodies until rescue teams arrived. But, regardless of what the science may say, this new video from ScreenPrism makes it clear that Jack always had to die in the end because, though he may have been lovable, Jack was nothing more than a plot device.
It’s easy to forget that at the beginning of Titanic, Rose isn’t a woman who is starved for love and romance. Rather, she’s a woman who is depressed, feels confined by her place in the social hierarchy, and, by the end of the first act, is considering suicide. That’s when she meets Jack and, as ScreenPrism notes, he slowly teaches her to take control of her own life. So, when Jack dies at the end of the film, Rose doesn’t simply give up and freeze to death alongside her new boyfriend. On the contrary, that’s when she decides she wants to live.
Sure, Rose and Jack could have gone on to America together and had a few good years of passionate romance. But that would have been a different movie. Titanic is really a movie about a woman who gains her autonomy during a fun weekend with a manic pixie dream boy and then grows up to eventually throw a big diamond into the ocean. At least, that’s how it should be remembered.
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