Titanic replica: Why we are not ready to give up until there is a happy ending

Sanghamitra Baruah
Sanghamitra BaruahOct 24, 2018 | 16:51

Titanic replica: Why we are not ready to give up until there is a happy ending

There is never a 'best true love story' in real life. But reel life can create that mirage for us. And James Cameron did that with his Titanic (1997).

He sold us an unaffordable dream — of private opulence and public mourning over its loss, love blooming against all odds, blurring the divide between the obliviously rich and the smooth-talking tramps of the world. A grand love story and grandeur that we were free to dream of, soak in and celebrate for decades to come.


But there was one thing Cameron couldn't and didn't give us — a happy ending.

The love story that goes on and on. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in James Cameron's Titanic. (Credit: Screenshot/YouTube)

Like most films “based on a true story,” Cameroon's Titanic had its own imaginary elements appended to the real story. Jack and Rose were two such elements. So, had he wanted, he could have given us a happy ending too. But then, a love story is never immortal unless unsuccessful.

If 'true' love is doomed to sink, RMS Titanic was a ship that was meant to be unsinkable. One hundred and ten years on, its legacy is unsinkable in public memory. And it's only natural for us to keep it afloat with our ingenuity.

Titanic II, a full-sized replica of the RMS Titanic that sank on its maiden voyage, is reportedly set to sail across the Atlantic in 2022. Although initial reports said the new ship is being constructed in China by the Australian company Blue Star Line, one of its spokespersons has reportedly confirmed that no dates had been announced yet. Also, the building work is yet to begin and ship builders yet to be contracted.


But that doesn't matter to all those who have been waiting to jump aboard.

Those on board the ill-fated ship in 1912 had no idea that a century later, people would want to relive their nightmare, or even recreate a similar ordeal. While sceptics find it difficult to accept such a 'celebration' of disaster, romantics can't seem to wait any longer to give a happy ending to the voyage this time.

British luxury passenger liner Titanic that sank on April 14-15, 1912, was going to New York City from Southampton. More than 1,500 people were killed. (Credit: Reuters Photo)

The new ship will retrace the original route and carry nearly the exact same number of passengers and crew members as the original ship.

But the new ship will have plenty of life boats as well as modern navigation and radar equipment. It will be outfitted exactly like the original ship, including the grand staircase which is etched in public memory, thanks to Cameron's movie. Besides, one can expect to see the same plush interiors and cabin layout as the original ship — with a ballroom, Turkish baths, and in all likelihood, those suffocating period costumes for passengers to wear. 

Love and the glory of opulence: Kate Winslet flaunts the 'Heart of the Ocean' pendant in a still from the 1997 movie. (Credit: Screenshot/YouTube). 


Expected to cost approximately $500 million, Titanic II is slated to start its two-week maiden voyage from Dubai to Southampton, England, and then on to New York City, via the Southampton-New York route. The ticket system will also be like the original ship with first, second and third-class bookings.

It was in 2012 that Australian mining magnate and politician Clive Palmer first declared he was going to build a replica of the Titanic. Three years after, he was forced to suspend work on the project due to financial troubles. Now, the man has announced refloating his long-held dream. “Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty. Titanic II will be the ship where those dreams come true,” he has said. 

One wonders why anyone would dream of being a part of 'heritage disaster' — recreating vintage melodrama that's replete with cries of distress, death and devastation?

Would we have remembered the RMS Titanic had it not been a symbol of the impeccable grandeur of its time? What if it were a dinghy transporting slaves or a boat packed with refugees? 

The easily forgettable crisis: Migrants on a boat that capsized off Lebanon. (Credit: Reuters Photo) 

It's the iceberg of opulence and wealth porn that have made such 'dreams' justifiable and achievable.

The ocean of inequality between the rich and the poor never thaws and never will.

Last updated: October 24, 2018 | 16:57
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