Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rose, You are Dumb for Tossing the Huge Diamond off the Ship

Dear Rose:
Over the holiday break, a group of friends and family snuggled down for a (very long!) evening to watch you in Titanic. I’d never seen your movie before. I know, crazy. How I managed to dodge your juggernaut I will never tell, so don’t even ask (my late-90’s media diet is a deep ocean of secrets).
Anyway, at the end of the film - as you know - the old version of you tosses the bazillion-dollar necklace forever into the watery abyss. Rose, I was on totally board with you until that point. So, I’m writing this to tell you straight up: you are dumb for tossing the huge diamond off the ship, for at least one of three reasons:

1. It was a failure as a gesture of devotion or closure. Rose, if you tossed the necklace to honor your lifetime of love for Jack, then you clearly didn’t know him at all. Your film took great pains to make the case that not only did he have no use for wealth, his cashless riches were the center of his entire character. In fact, those riches were the very keys he used to spring you from the golden cuffs that bound you to your d-bag fiancé. Was Jack’s unrested soul wandering the ocean floor, waiting for the bazillion dollar necklace? Please. Was throwing the necklace a peace offering to atone for how you secretly carried it as a safety net during your adventuresome (?) life between the movie timelines? More likely, I think, but that’s not very flattering so probably not.
Now, your D-Bag fiancé – perhaps the least-interesting character I’ve seen in any movie – is exactly the type of jackhole who actually would wander the sea floor moaning and rattling chains about a lost necklace. Throwing it to him would have made a great statement, but sadly, his plotline was nipped short.

2. It fails as a statement about the corrupting influence of money. Rose, your arc does a great job of showing us that poor people can live rich lives, and that rich people can be miserable, and that both are easily trapped by the grinding social rigors of maintaining class. The poor are – literally - locked in the bilge of a sinking ship by the rich people with the keys. The rich are – figuratively – locked in a death march to maintain airs and graces. So why not make a grandiose statement by throwing your symbol of ultimate wealth into the waves where it can never be retrieved? Well, because that is stupid.
If you wanted to make a real statement, why not use the immense value of the necklace to start a ranch for young rich girls to break free from their D-Bags and learn to ride horses, like you did? And that’s just off the top of my head. Imagine if Bill and Melinda Gates said “we believe every human being has the right to live a healthy, productive life. So, we’re going to dump all of our money into the ocean.” I hate to say it, but that’s exactly what you did.

3. It succeeds as maudlin cinematics. And finally, Rose, there is the possibility that your regrettable action is not in the natural flow of your character, but was awkwardly shoehorned into you by a pragmatic and ruthless screenwriter. If I was a betting man, this is where I would plunk down my own gigantic diamond necklace. I believe you were coerced into doing this thing to twist the knife in those members of the audience who were not sufficiently moved by Jack’s death. Or maybe that’s just what I want to believe, because I see great things in you. But even if it is not your fault, it still is a stupid thing to do, by proxy.

So, there you go. Sorry if that was a little blunt, but I thought you would appreciate the straightforward feedback.

Your admirer,

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