It’s been more than 22 years since director James Cameron’s masterpiece hit the theaters. While there are people who still go gaga over the discussion of the movie, there are few who are busy digging various facts and deconstructing its’ plot.
You read that right. Jack, Rose, Titanic – all sounds good. But what about ‘Imagination’? Did that sound spooky? Or does that feel like an utter non-sense?
It’s been more than 22 years since director James Cameron’s masterpiece depicting the sinking of the ‘unsinkable’ monstrous RMS Titanic into the North Atlantic waters got released. Till date, the movie ranks top among the ones to be the most talked after.
There are people who find it hard to get over the movie’s direction, cinematography, and the encapsulating story-line. On the other hand, there are a number of fans, who to some extent are enraged and discontent as far as the movie’s ending is concerned. Also, there are a few others who have been busy deconstructing the movie’s plot.
One such ‘Titanic’ fan brought about a weird yet an exciting theory justifying the fact why the male protagonist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) couldn’t be saved along with the female protagonist Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) as the ill-fated ‘Titanic’ sank 3600 meters below the cold Atlantic waters after colliding with an iceberg on her maiden voyage to New York City from Southampton.
What sort of theory?
A theory suggesting Jack as a mere figment of Rose’s imagination in Titanic.
Sounds foolish! Maybe you’ll like to read further.
The theory suggests Jack never existed in actual and was a mere creation of an unhappy Rose herself so as to help overcome her dull and depressed state. Jack was a heroic character she wished to have in her life and use him as an escape for her ill-fate and miseries. In a nutshell, Jack was a mere imagination of Rose to distract herself of her own miseries.
Justifications supporting the theory
For all ‘Titanic’ fans out there, the theory may sound ridiculous. However, it’s not as crude as it appears. It does hold a few valid supporting plots from the movie.
Timely appearance of Jack
When a 17-year-old aristocrat Rose, accompanied by her mother Ruth (Frances Fisher) and fiance Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), an insufferable snob, set aboard the Titanic as a first-class passenger; she was all gloomy, depressed and lost with life. It was when she decided to commit suicide by throwing herself off the stern that she encountered Jack, a drifter and struggling artist from the streets of Paris – who literally saves her life. He was a perfect epitome of a ‘guardian angel’ who helped Rose reclaim her life and find new ways of living.
Man of Rose’s thought
During her moments of distress and nervous breakdown, Rose pictures a man who is kind, selfless and full of life. Someone who is charismatic and could love her the way she is without robbing her of her own identity. A man who could love her with full might without actually controlling her. And guess what, Mr. Jack Dawson appears to be just the perfect man – the man Rose was searching for, a complete contrast of her fiance Cal in every sense
Creation of Jack as an escape
To be frank, it’s Rose’s desperation that makes her believe Jack exists in real. She desired for someone like him all her life. Jack is always worried about her mental well being. In one of the scenes, he tells her, “If you don’t break free, you’re going to die”; thereby helping her to remain strong and live a cheerful life by letting off her negative thoughts. It’s because of Jack’s motivation that she is able to gather inner strength and confidence to ‘fly’ at the bow of Titanic in one of the most revered scenes of the movie.
In one of the other scenes, when Rose shows the prestigious diamond necklace – the Heart of the Ocean – which she received as an engagement present from Cal – Jack sketches her nude adorning only the prestigious diamond. Maybe it was one of her desires, something that Cal didn’t understand or care of.
Why couldn’t Jack be saved?
When Titanic hits the iceberg and begins sinking as water starts entering the watertight compartments, Rose is seen yearning for Jack to provide her the strength to tackle this predicament. While Rose was battling life on the makeshift raft (buoyant enough for one person as far as James Cameron is concerned), she tells Jack, “I’ll never let go” but ultimately lets him drift away.
Why couldn’t she stay with him? Why couldn’t both of them be saved? – maybe because Jack never really existed in the first place.
The biggest evidence
The most important plot supporting this bonkers of a theory is the opening scene of the movie when a treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) and his team of researchers aboard Keldysh in search of the remains of RMS Titanic so as to discover a necklace with a diamond – the Heart of the Ocean. They recover a safe that didn’t contain the diamond necklace but a sketch of a beautiful young woman wearing it. Knowing this, 101-year-old Rose visits Brock and claims herself to be the lady in the sketch and narrates her ‘Titanic’ experience.
When Brock reveals Rose that there’s no sort of evidence of Jack being present on Titanic – no boarding pass, ticket or belongings – Rose mysteriously exclaims, “No, there wouldn’t be, would there?” “He exists now… only in my memory.”
Counterpoints to the justifications
Most of the justifications of the theory seem reliable, but not all. The conversation between Brock and Rose about the unavailability of any evidence of Jack being on ‘Titanic’ sounds a bit weird.
If one remembers, Jack won the ticket to the voyage from a man named Sevn in a game of poker and boarded the ship minutes before its departure along with his friend Fabrizio (Danny Nuci). So, obviously there wouldn’t be any traces of his on the wreckage site. May be Brock and his team should have looked for someone named Sevn.
Also, during the entire voyage, Jack isn’t just involved with Rose. He’s seen talking and mingling with a lot of other people on board as well. So, was Jack a figment of the imagination of all those people just like Rose?
The movie ‘Titanic’ though based on a real-life story wasn’t completely the actual recreation of the incident. There are a number of people in the movie who indeed had an actual existence. Historically, some had even a greater role to play than the movie portrays.
However, one fact is for certain – there were no Jack and Rose – they were two of the few other fictional characters in the movie.
So, the million-dollar question is, “Was Jack indeed an imagination of Rose in Titanic?”
No one actually knows. Maybe no one will actually know. But it’s always exciting to read such an interesting hypothesis. They make you question your instincts. Let’s hope some other die-hard fan comes up with a similar theory for some other masterpiece.