Just like Forrest Gump and just about every Harry Potter film, it seems James Cameron’s Titanic will continue to stand as one of those movies that some fans watch every, single time they catch it on cable TV. It’s not hard to see why – it has a little bit of everything. Action, a stellar cast, set-piece moments, a bit of comedy, and, of course, one of the greatest on-screen romances of our generation.
Still, for all the praise and love that Titanic gets, it’s not without its fair share of criticism. While a few critics thought the story and dialogue were nothing to write home about, a lot of the backlash comes from the fans, who take issue with how the ending played out.
For those who need a refresher, after the ship sank, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jack Dawson, sacrifices himself to ensure that his love interest, Rose, survives by staying afloat on a piece of debris (specifically, a wooden door from the ship). As Jack plunges into the icy water, some fans were outraged, as they felt that the makeshift raft would have been buoyant enough for both of them to use.
This controversial moment hasn’t disappeared from the public consciousness, either. It’s been a source of endless debates, and the MythBusters themselves even tackled the problem to find out if Jack really could have survived (spoiler alert: he had the chance to dodge death, but it would require a bit of MacGyver-esque quick thinking and problem-solving).
In a recent press junket to promote Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, DiCaprio, along with co-stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, were asked about Jack’s death, and here’s what they said:
“Oh my gosh, I thought it…I remember bawling my eyes out when I was a [little] girl,” Robbie recounted.
Hilariously, DiCaprio refused to weigh in on the matter, simply saying that “I have no comment.” For those wondering, James Cameron has even taken the time to address the controversy, stating:
“Look, it’s very, very simple: you read page 147 of the script and it says, ‘Jack gets off the board and gives his place to her so that she can survive.’ It’s that simple. You can do all the post-analysis you want.” Cameron began.
“OK, so let’s really play that out: you’re Jack, you’re in water that’s 28 degrees, your brain is starting to get hypothermia. MythBusters asks you to now go take off your life vest, take hers off, swim underneath this thing, attach it in some way that it won’t just wash out two minutes later—which means you’re underwater tying this thing on in 28-degree water, and that’s going to take you five to ten minutes, so by the time you come back up you’re already dead.”
“His best choice was to keep his upper body out of the water and hope to get pulled out by a boat or something before he died,” he continued. “They’re fun guys and I loved doing that show with them, but they’re full of s**t.”
Whether you side with the MythBusters, or you agree with James Cameron’s interpretation, one thing remains clear – it doesn’t look like we’ll get a definitive answer on this one anytime soon.