That sinking feeling

Violet’s Kate Collins gives a speedy summary of what goes down in Titanic

Kate Collins

The Titanic's nemesis

There are some things that people say you have to see before you die. There are some things so commonly seen that, if you haven’t seen them, people shout “heathen!”

There’s one thing I haven’t seen that instils this reaction. It’s a pretty big thing. You could say it’s so big it’s a titanic thing, and you’d be right, because it’s the film Titanic. 

I've been on this planet for nearly 20 years sans-Titanic. Never seen it. Maybe because I’m scared of getting invested in a relationship between an inferior Kate and Leonardo di Capri-Sun knowing it was going to meet a horrible icebergy disaster. 

However, I’ve realised I can’t unfairly judge Titanic without seeing it. To Netflix!

THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR FELLOW HEATHENS.

1:37: It opens underwater with whizzy machines! All a bit sci-fi, isn’t it? IS LEO AN ALIEN?

8:57: Big chest found on boat wreckage. Not that kind of chest. I wonder what’s inside?

10:22: Porn. It’s porn. 

12:00: ‘I’ll be god-damned,’ says old lady, shocked to see this much pencil-drawn porn pre-watershed on television.

21:00: I was wrong. No aliens. But, plot twist, old lady previously shocked by porn is actually said pencil-drawn-porn star. Time for a flashback. (Disappointing lack of flashback harp noises.) 

22:23: Kate Winslet arrives and immediately bitches about the boat not being big enough. Given she’s wearing the biggest hat I’ve ever seen I can’t help feeling she needs to adjust her expectations regarding size. Leo may feel the same. We have yet to see.

"History is a tricky thing – especially when it’s tragic, and especially when it’s put on film"

24:37: First sighting of Leonardo di Cardiac Arrest! He’s gambling! What a maverick!

28:41: We have a baddie. He’s got a waistcoat. He’s got baddie eyebrows. He doesn’t like Picasso. 

31:20: It’s at this point I remember that I get seasick. 

36:40: Leo sets eyes on Kate. He doesn’t seem distracted by the fact that someone has started to play the oboe. I would be. It’s hard to think sexy thoughts when there are oboe tunes flying around. 

38:00: Kate’s going to throw herself off the boat! 

41:00: It’s alright, folks, Leo’s distracted her with a nifty ice-fishing story. 

53:00: A man with an astounding moustache-to-face ratio wants to ‘push the engines’ to impress the guests. Sounds like a swell idea that definitely isn’t going to *cough* iceberg *cough* end badly!

RECAP OF HOUR ONE: porn can keep underwater for a really long time, ice water is cold, and Leon Di Portabello scrubs up well. 

Oops, another spoilerInstagram: titanic.movie

1:17:00: Kate’s taken some time out of being a woman to crunch some numbers, and it turns out there aren’t enough lifeboats. Is that the sound of… foreshadowing I hear?

1:21:00: Famous scene! Initially, Lara Dos Canterbury was trying to stop Kate throwing herself overboard – now he seems keen to do it himself! STAY AWAY FROM THE EDGE! (Other sounds it’s hard to have sexy thoughts to: Celine Dion.)

1:35:27: Leo and Kate are either hotboxing a vintage car or having a shag in it. Either way, they’re having fun.

1:35:39: (It was a shag)

1:38:55: Nobody panic, but I-spy with my little eye, something beginning with ICEBERG. 

1:58:00: Things aren’t looking good. Leo’s been accused of jewellery theft and is trapped – Kate’s on her way but the water’s rising. (Okay, yes, two hours in and I’m a little bit hooked now.)

2:18:00: The good news: Kate has saved Leo from below deck. The bad news: her fiancé is still an arsehole and Celine Dion really doesn’t recognise that it’s inappropriate to hum in an ethereal fashion on a sinking ship. There are children crying. It’s pretty upsetting, to be honest.


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After this, it didn’t feel appropriate to make jokes. In summary, the boat sinks, lots of people die, Kate lets Leo go right after saying she won’t but it’s more of a metaphor, and then we go back to the present where old Kate throws away a very expensive necklace, pops her clogs and then meets Leo again in a bizarre dream sequence, they have a bit of a snog and everyone applauds. 

It was very emotional, and I don’t wish to make light of the subject matter. Quite close to where I live is the grave of one of the people depicted in the film, which makes it feel (rightly so) very real. If I’ve taken the piss, I’m only taking the piss out of the film, and I find it hard to judge how I feel about it, given my preconceptions come from countless parodies. It’s definitely got merits; it’s very tightly structured in terms of raising stakes and the characters are pretty developed, but it’s also three and a bit hours long and was made in 1997. 

The only thing I can say, and no, it’s not original, is that history is a tricky thing – especially when it’s tragic, and especially when it’s put on film