|Bummer. Life is the Titanic. We are all doomed. |
Jack the All-American Boy has all the qualities for success: artistic talent, self-esteem, brains, pluck, good sense -- and yet he dies. The girl he has to drag around survives.
Jack is the perfect American. He does not hate the aristocrats. He flat out does not "get" it. He cannot understand how some people can be "better" than others any more than he could write a grammar on Chinese after listening to a married couple quarrel in Mandarin. He is perfectly frank, open, honest, honest with himself and therefore with others. He is talented and he believes in himself.
The portrayal of the rich as idle aristocrats is another issue entirely. Why did they not meet Jacques Futrelle or Washington Roebling or John Jacob Astor?
("He was not, however, one of the world's "idle rich," for his life of forty-seven years was a well-filled one. He had managed the family estates since 1891; built the Astor Hotel, New York; was colonel on the staff of Governor Levi P. Morton, and in May, 1898, was commissioned colonel of the United States volunteers. After assisting Major-General Breckinridge, inspector-general of the United States army, he was assigned to duty on the staff of Major-General Shafter and served in Cuba during the operations ending in the surrender of Santiago. He was also the inventor of a bicycle brake, a pneumatic road-improver, and an improved turbine engine.") (Archives at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/) In our age, we want the rich to lose their money and blow their brains out.
All of the concrete politics aside, the fact that Jack's good qualities do not save him sinks the movie for me.
Even so, the movie presented valuable portraits of courage. There were some great scenes. I gave up a sob when they showed the guys at the electrical controls. When the shit hits the fan, you stand your post and do your job. I also agree with judgment on the portrayal of the musicians: courage from those in whom you might least expect it. "Shall we play?"