I like cake. You like cake. We all like cake. What’s not to like about cake? Who doesn’t like cake?
An iceberg apparently.
The Titanic was known for the array of cakes on board: Viennese* swirls, gingerbread people, those Danishes with the chocolate chips instead of raisins – the whole shaboogie. Imagine you have a wheat intolerance? Why, there is a tray of meringues, or possibly the kitchen can come up with a sort of wheatless macaroon or something. Vegan? Why, then here is a selection of cruelty-free doughnuts. In the homogenised 21st century, the average audience can scarce begin to conceive of the variety that must’ve been pushed through the piping bags of the on-board pastry chefs, many no doubt at the zenith of their art.
Once again, James Cameron misses the opportunity to inform as well as entertain. One can only ask what he has against the craft of the specialist baker? A curious and fiercely demonstrated prejudice shared in my mind with only one other entity: the Iceberg.
Cameron’s iceberg appears but fleetingly in the film, but it is clear where his affections lie: with the chilly behemoth that spells an icy doom to the patissierres (and passengers) of the doomed vessel. As the mountain of frozen water lovingly caresses the deck, Cameron’s glee is palpable. What are its motivations? Why has it chosen this particular ship for condemnation to a watery grave? The iceberg holds her secrets frozen deeply in her heart. Cameron, likewise, believes his hatred for the dainty craft of baked confection is hidden, mysterious and unknowable. UNTIL this sharp eyed reviewer spotted an eclair drifting in the foreground as the mighty Titanic slips beneath the foam. In this one shot, Cameron is revealing perhaps more than he realises, his pathology now clear for all to see in glorious 3D. Jim, if you’re reading this, get help. This mania cannot continue.
I am reminded of Hardy’s poem, The Convergence of the Twain. Cameron and the iceberg are divided souls, sharing a destiny, though they do not know it. Will you thaw in due course, Mr Cameron? Do you fear global warming will reduce you to a puddle? Titanic is a film ostensibly about a load of good cakes going to waste – but it is also a hymn to the director’s obsession with mediocrity and annihilation: his greatest fear is to be subsumed into the vastness of the ocean. Today a powerful iceberg, tomorrow, so much water, this part indistinct from that.
So why the preoccupation with cakes? We can only speculate. But I shall be watching Aliens tonight with a more careful (and sadder?) eye.
One star; Leonardo Di Caprio’s attempt at an Irish accent is just embarrassing, and Bernard Hill doesn’t dance at all.
* Are ‘Viennese’ and ‘Danish’ proper nouns in a cake context? I’m not sure – but have made them so in this review. I would be indebted to readers who could advise either way, without the comments section descending into a bun fight.