Diary , 19 December 2018

Why Rose’s Mum Fascinates Me & Some Other Thoughts On Titanic

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I’ve been feeling a bit sad and sorry for myself this week, and in a bid to induce some cathartic tears, found myself watching Titanic. It did the trick – I had all the feels throughout and wept inconsolably when she plied his icy hands off that door and released him to a watery grave. 

But I also had some questions because the years since last watching it have, it seems, made me a rather practical creature who is far less given to suspending disbelief in the name of romance (more’s the pity), so these flashed into my mind and will now be in yours if ever you find yourself willing to spend over three hours watching a film you probably already know every line of //

Rose’s mother Ruth’s posture is a thing to be admired and aped in these hunched over days of tech neck. That is all I have to say on that.

It is a crying shame that Lady Duff Gordon doesn’t feature more heavily. She started the first major couture house all on her own and seems like the sort of person that Rose as an emerging feminist would’ve loved. There could’ve been a mentor dynamic or some sort of lovely wisdom imparted about Rose making her own way in the world.

That third class party looks insanely fun and if anyone’s having a similar event, could they please invite me?

… But I also think that the lounge Cal and his cronies smoke in looks eminently civilised and perhaps the sort of place I’d like to enjoy a camomile tea and game of cards before retiring to bed. Most nights, truthfully, I would want that over the big party.

Rose must have truly hated Cal deeply to come up with the ultimate FU of having her new boyfriend sketch her entirely nude, wearing that enormous and enormously expensive diamond he’d just given her. What an inspired way to break up with someone.

When Rose says she’s disembarking the ship with Jack when it docks, has she considered their plans for the interim period? It’s a good 3 days to New York from where the Titanic struck the iceberg, and presumably she’s not going to shack up in the tiny room Jack shares with Fabrizio and two Scandis. Does she expect him to stay in the suite Cal is paying for with her? Or will they sleep separately and reconvene after? It’s a puzzler.

When Rose is waiting for the ship finally to sink, she seems to give a woman hanging onto the other side of the railings a really bitchy look. Anyone else spotted that? I can’t quite think why James Cameron kept it in.

It’s nice of James Horner to have composed such evocative and haunting music for the film, but I kind of wish they’d left the part where the ship plunges into the ocean minus soundtrack. I think the sound of the horror of 1500 humans sinking with a ship would’ve been powerful enough not to need a brass section hooting over it.

I really hope Molly Brown made sure that the godawful White Star Line employee who tells her they’re not going back to pick up more people was fired and/or arrested.

Clearly Jack could’ve fit on that door too.

What happened to Rose’s mum? I know she’s not exactly the best mum in the world, but I actually feel some sympathy for Ruth – it must’ve been quite traumatic for her to go from pampered upper class woman to destitute and relying on her only daughter to marry a horrible man for funds to see her into her dotage. I also suspect she probably thought Rose just fancied Jack and that their relationship didn’t have legs, so perhaps was dismissive and snooty on that account. In any case, what happened next for Ruth? Did Cal give her any money? Did she end up working as a seamstress? That’s a sequel I’d want to see.

Where did the survivors sleep on the Carpathia? Can history buffs answer this? Squeezing 700 extra people onto a ship must’ve been a feat of organisation.

Why didn’t Rose tell anybody this incredibly significant story? She may have wanted to hide the Jack thing (though I can’t imagine why), but to omit that you’d been on the most famous ship of all time and survived it sinking seems quite odd.

Why throw the diamond into the ocean? I CANNOT GET OVER THIS. Rose herself may not have cared for material goods and jewels, but she could’ve done any number of things with it from anonymously returning it to Cal, who as we know loved money, to giving it to her family, to selling it, to wearing it. It’s also a piece of history as the jewel Louis the XVI owned. What an unfathomably selfish act.

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