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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Titanic: Blood and Steel Review

Titanic: Blood and Steel is a 12 part series released this year.  It follows Dr. Mark Muir, a metologist as he experiments with the metals being used to construct the Titanic.  In the process, he meets and falls in love with Sofia Silvestri, an Italian that moved to Belfast, Ireland, and witnesses the social problems going on at that time.  In terms of accuracy, it has its moments.  There are times where I would almost cringe like when Andrews mentioned that the Titanic could hold 4,000 people (she had the capacity for 3,000), early on the Olympic was seeming launched before the Titanic's keel was laid down (Olympic was begun first but was pretty much built alongside the Titanic for most of the Titanic's construction), Ismay came on as the an unbelievable snob (he was in reality proud of his ships but wasn't as greedy as he portrayed), and J.P. Morgan was shown as being in New York (J.P. was in Europe and originally booked passage on the Titanic).  They did try to be somewhat accurate and it isn't too bad.  It's clear they used some archival photographs of the construction as the basis for some scenes and sets and it pretty good in that regard.  The only area of the sets where I must complain is the brief shot of the interior at  the end.  It is clearly an old English home and bears no resemblance to the Titanic.

The story is rather interesting and is a lot to take in when you watch all the episodes without many breaks as I did.  The story deals with the consequences of sex outside of marriage (two of the characters have children with women who are not their wives) which I liked.  It's viewed as if it's harmless, but the lasting impact was big in the long run.  However, they don't seem repentant.  However, it does teach a lesson that needs to be learned nowadays and that is that a child needs a mother and a father.  The series is adamant on that point which I thought was good.  It also deals with the social issues such Protestants vs. Catholics, Women's Rights, Unionists vs. Nationalists, some class warfare, and the Home Rule bill.  A lot was going on during that time and Ireland was in a huge political struggle before WWI.

I thought that the officers of Harland and Wolff were portrayed well.  I don't know much about all of them, but based on what I know of what happened during the construction, I thought it went on well.  I do know a little of Lord Pirrie and more about Thomas Andrews and I thought they were portrayed excellently. Lord Pirrie was a man who was sympathetic with the voice of the public and Thomas Andrews was a man who was obsessed with shipbuilding and took every possible action to ensure that his ships were safe and his passengers were comfortable.  However, one thing I loved about this series is that everybody was human.  No one was perfect and with most of the people you had things you liked and disliked about them.  Even with those that were portrayed very negatively, you could at least see where they were coming from and not completely hate them.   

The Titanic herself was for the most part the stage for everything.  I thought the computer animation was great and the shots were awesome, but Titanic was just a thing you see in the background of this drama unfolding.

I loved how the class warfare was portrayed.  To be sure, there was some tension between rich and poor but it wasn't all an out war like some people would have you believe.  It was more of an unspoken uprising of the lower class against the upper class.  I also thought that the way in which they portrayed struggle between Unionist and Nationalists and Protestants and Catholics was good.  As a Protestant Christian, I'm ashamed of the way they treated the Catholics.  However, I must say that it only showed a few good Protestants (like Pirrie and Andrews) as opposed to the portrayal of nearly all the Catholics as good people. Most of the Protestants were shown as snobby and discriminatory against the Catholics.

I was disappointed that they didn't show the Guarantee Group aside from Thomas Andrews.  There was a young man who seemingly represented Alfred Cunningham but other than that, they didn't show them.  It would have been nice because all these people could have worked with Dr. Muir as he experimented with the steel or been in involved with the social issues.  They could have even had Roderick Chisolm help work out the tension between the Germans and Irish while they were using a German crane during the construction.  The fact there was little mention of the Guarantee Group was a disappointment to me.  

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars.  The movie was great as far as visual affects and its portrayal of most of the characters, but I thought they could have done more with the actual story instead of going with a lot of made up things.

1 comment:

Huey Hog said...

Yep. Enjoyed This.
Kitty... How I loved Kitty.
10/10 (Thanks to Kitty)

Adam, Hueyhog on Twitter ... Kitty.