Posted on Friday, September 14th, 2012 by Angie Han
Jack’s decision to let Rose take the plank at the end of Titanic was unquestionably a noble and romantic one. Unlike so many self-sacrificial heroes, however, he doesn’t go out in a blaze of glory. Instead, he huddles in the icy water and slowly freezes to death. His lady love, meanwhile, gets to sprawl out on her perch and gaze at the stars as she waits for help.
This spring’s 3D rerelease of Titanic inspired a fresh wave of grumbling from viewers convinced that Rose might’ve saved Jack, had she only been smart or generous enough to scoot over a few inches and allow Jack to board the life raft with her. Two fans even mapped out a to-scale outline of the plank and posed within it, definitively proving there was more than enough room for both to fit. But writer/director James Cameron says space was never the issue — their combined weight was. And he’s working with MythBusters to prove it.
In an interview with IGN (via THR), Cameron acknowledged the ongoing debate — but remains firmly convinced that Jack could not have joined Rose on the makeshift raft. “Actually, it’s not a question of room, it’s a question of buoyancy,” he said. “When Jack puts Rose on the raft, then he tries to get on the raft. He’s not an idiot, he doesn’t want to die. And the raft sinks and it kind of flips. So it’s clear that there’s really only enough buoyancy available for one person. So he makes a decision to let her be that person instead of taking them both down.”
Had they tried to split the difference, Cameron says, neither would’ve stood a chance of survival. “If you know anything about hypothermia, the more you’re submerged — and she’s completely out of the water on the raft, and it’s only about that far above the surface,” he explains. “If they he had gotten on with her they both would have been half in and half out of the water, even if they could balance on it, and they would have both died.”
Cameron’s so sure, in fact, that he’s enlisting the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters team to debunk the anti-Rose theory once and for all. “It’s interesting, cause I think MythBusters is gonna tackle this problem, and I’m gonna help them do it, actually. We’re gonna put it to rest,” he told the site. While I’ve never been shipwrecked in the Atlantic Ocean, I have played with a few pool toys in my time, and Cameron’s take rings true. We’ll find out whenever the pertinent episode airs.