Titanic has been one of the world’s most popular movies ever since its release in 1997. The world is obsessed with the tragic love story between Rose and Jack, two young adults who find a soulmate in each other.
The love story in the movie isn’t the only thing people talk about. 20 years after the film’s release date, people are still talking about the movie’s emotional ending. As it did in real life, the Titanic ship meets a tragic end after hitting an iceberg and sinking to the bottom of the freezing Atlantic Ocean.
Rose and Jack make it through the catastrophic sinking process, but then they find themselves floating in freezing waters. Jack finds a door floating in the water and urges Rose to get on top of it so that she’s not in the water. He, however, is left to hang off of the side of the door.
As anyone could have guessed, Jack doesn’t survive the freezing water. Rose is forced to let his body sink and save herself. Rose – along with the rest of the world – is left heartbroken after Jack’s death.
Many people still haven’t accepted the heartbreak. There are thousands of people out there who man forum boards and Facebook pages devoted to exclaiming to the world that there was enough room on Rose’s door for Jack. He didn’t have to die, according to these people. Some even reenacted the scene to show how the two lovers could have fit.
Others argue that it’s not about how much space was on the door, but rather is a physics dilemma. The door wouldn’t have fit with both Rose and Jack on top of it. It couldn’t support the pair’s weight, they say.
And so, for 20 years, people have been arguing back and forth about the film’s ending. But finally, James Cameron, the movie’s director, is speaking up to squash the argument.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, James Cameron addresses the issue. When asked why Jack didn’t get on the door and save himself, Cameron explains, “The answer is very simple because it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies.”
For fans who can’t accept that simple answer, the director shares, “The film is about death and separation; he had to die.”
James Cameron goes on to explain that it doesn’t matter if there was a way for Jack to fit and float on the door with Rose because he was destined to die no matter what. Regardless of whether he freezes to death, gets dragged down by the ship, or even dies by some tragedy on the ship, Jack was going to die.
“Had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless,” Cameron states. Sure, it would have been a happier ending, but Rose wouldn’t have been forced to make a life for herself on her own, thus keeping her promise to Jack.
Without Jack’s forced death, Rose wouldn’t have experienced that loss and lived on as a different person than she was when she got on the ship at the beginning of the movie.
James Cameron also admits that he thinks it’s silly that people are still so vehemently arguing about the movie’s ending. However, he also adds, “The film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die.” Yes, Mr. Cameron, it did hurt us very deeply.