Saturday, April 7, 2012

Rose Dewitt Bukater: Supervillain!

With the re-release of James Cameron's Titanic this week (in gloriously unnecessary 3D yet), it's high time to take a long hard look at one of the greatest cinematic villains in film history. No, not Darth Vader or Hannibal Lector. I mean none other than one Rose Dewitt Bukater.

While most starry-eyed fans of Titanic no doubt see Rose as a spunky and romantic heroine, she is in reality a cold, calculating and ruthless harridan.

Don't believe me? Let's let Miss Bukater's actions speak for themselves.

• She dooms her mother Ruth to a life of poverty.
During the film we learn that Rose's late father had racked up huge amounts of debt before his untimely death and left the family penniless. Rose's impending marriage to the wealthy Cal Hockley would save them financially. The callous Rose couldn't be bothered to spare a moment's concern for her mother's welfare though and spurned Cal. Rose's selfish action no doubt condemned her mother to toil in a sweatshop for the rest of her lonely days.

• She cheats on her fiance. 
Cal Hockley was an abusive an manipulative jerk, which I will not deny. That doesn't make it OK to cheat on him though. Rose clearly believes otherwise and the shameless strumpet sleeps with Jack Dawson (a veritable stranger) while still engaged to Cal, in an era when such an action could get a woman stoned to death.

Even a cad like Cal deserves better treatment than that. Would it have killed her to break off their engagement before hopping in the sack (or in this case, the car) with Jack?

• She shuns her upbringing by shamelessly posing nude.
Rose grew up in a privileged environment of manners and gentility. The spiteful and unscrupulous viper flushes all that away as she willingly disrobes and poses nude for a man she's known for less than a day. It's quite obvious that the rules of polite society mean nothing to the scandalous little hussy.

• She causes Cal Hockley to commit suicide. 
After the events on the Titanic, Cal killed himself when his business failed during the Great Depression.

After the ship sank, Rose was still in possession of the Heart of the Ocean necklace, a priceless bauble that Cal bought for her as a wedding present at great expense. She could have sent it back to Cal (anonymously) since she didn't want the thing in the first place. Instead the evil Rose chose to secret the necklace away and let everyone believe it went down with the ship.
Had she given it back to Cal, he no doubt could have sold the necklace and made enough money to save his failing business, thus preventing him from spiraling into dept and despair and taking his own life.

• She causes the death of an innocent woman.  
As the Titanic begins to sink, Cal and Jack both insist that Rose board a lifeboat with her mother. As the lifeboat is lowered into the water, the cruel and selfish Rose leaps back aboard the doomed ship, because she can't bear to be without her precious Jack. This leaves a vacant seat in her lifeboat, one that could have been filled by any of the hundreds of other women still on board, or even a couple of children. By thinking only of her own happiness, Rose heartlessly sentenced an innocent to a watery grave.

• She kills her boyfriend Jack Dawson. 
After the ship sinks, Jack and the murderous Rose see a raft-like piece of wood floating in the icy waters. Unfortunately the wood can only support the weight of one person. Guess who that person is? The merciless Rose, of course. Poor Jack is forced to cling to the side of the makeshift raft until he dies of hypothermia.

If Rose had stayed in the lifeboat where she belonged, Jack would have been the one able to climb onto the piece of wreckage and would have lived. Once again the bloodthirsty and diabolical Rose Dewitt Bukater kills another innocent.

• She lets her mother think she died. 
Once safely onboard the rescue ship Carpathia, the unfeeling Rose hides from both her mother Ruth and Cal, even going so far as to change her name to Rose Dawson. Rose DeWitt Bukater is officially listed as having drowned in the tragedy. She then heartlessly lets mother live out the rest of her life thinking her only child is dead.

Now I ask you, what kind of a cruel, sadistic harpy would put her own mother through such an ordeal?

• She destroys Brock Lovett's life work. 

Brock invested three years of his life and hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) of dollars searching the Titanic wreckage for the Heart Of The Ocean necklace.

The malevolent Rose has been jealously guarding the necklace for decades. When she meets Brock and discovers his endeavor, instead of simply handing the Heart over to him, the detestable harpy outright lies and tells him she has no knowledge of its whereabouts and continues to keep its existence a secret. Then the miserable Jezebel actually drops it into the depths of the ocean rather than give it to Brock. This no doubt leaves him in debt to the many sponsors who bankrolled his expedition and are expecting a return on their investments. 

As a final stab at a man who's done nothing to her, the vengeful Rose then ups and dies on Brock's ship, an action which will undoubtably spark an investigation from the authorities. Rose's family will blame him for overexerting her and causing her death and will inevitably sue him. They may even press charges against him. Brock will be financially ruined and may even serve a prison sentence.

When you add up all the evidence, there has never been a more heinous creature in the history of film than Rose Dewitt Bukator. She's more than earned her rightful place alongside Frank Booth and Freddy Krueger in the pantheon of movie villains.

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