For the four people on the planet who haven’t seen Titanic, there are spoilers coming up.
For romance lovers, it’s probably one of the more jarring notes in the movie Titanic when Jack and Rose both try to climb onto the floating door, only to nearly capsize it. So Jack hangs off the edge, instead, and as a result, dies of exposure.
Viewers have been insisting for years that there were dozens of alternatives the couple could have taken to get Jack up and out of the water.
Director James Cameron has just as stubbornly insisted that no, there wasn’t. And if there was, Jack still would have died because of other complications and physical impossibilities.
Recently, Cameron paid for research to establish if he was, in fact, right. And it turns out, he might have been. (But you have to keep in mind who paid for the research).
Ultimately, though, there is a throw-away quote in the original article I’ve linked to, here, from James Cameron. He points out that no matter what the physics involved in Jack’s demise, in story terms, Jack had to die. It was the theme of the entire movie — loss and heartbreak, and facing a world that has abruptly changed.
So even if physics had been on Jack’s side, the writers would have had to find another way for him to die.
In the movie, Jack dies saving Rose. Saving another, especially someone you love, makes one’s death meaningful. So perhaps we should let Jack continue to be the hero he is and stop cursing James Cameron for ruining a perfectly good romance. 🙂