It has been 84 years since the sinking of the Titanic. Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) and his crew are searching for lost treasure, in particular a famous diamond known as the Heart of the Ocean, which was lost when the Titanic went down. His search brings him into contact with Rose Dawson Calvert (Gloria Stewart), a survivor of the disaster and now 101 years old. The movie tells the story of the tragic event from her perspective.
As a young girl, Rose (Kate Winslet) is travelling on the Titanic to America to marry her fiancé, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). It’s a loveless match made necessary by the death of her father, which has left Rose and her mother without any money. Cal is a cruel and possessive man, and Rose longs for freedom. In desperation, she decides to jump off the ship, but handsome young Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) saves her. Jack is an artist and a drifter who won tickets for his passage in steerage in a poker game.
During the two days they spend together, Rose and Jack fall deeply in love. This is despite their vastly different social backgrounds and fierce opposition from Rose’s mother and Cal. Cal does everything he can to prevent the two being together, including falsely accusing Jack of stealing the famous diamond. Tragedy strikes when the ship hits an iceberg. Passengers desperately attempt to save themselves, often at the expense of others, although some graciously give up their places in the lifeboats. Because there are twice as many passengers as there are places in the lifeboats, women and children from first class are saved first. Tragically steerage passengers are stopped from getting into the lifeboats.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Disaster; social class
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
This movie has some violence. For example:
- Cal is so enraged with Rose that he shouts at her and knocks several objects over.
- Another time Cal hits Rose across the face and calls her a slut and a whore.
- Cal’s bodyguard Lovejoy punches Jack in the stomach and points a gun at him.
- The people in steerage are trying to get out from behind a locked gate when they’re pushed and shoved by crew members, who are armed with axes.
- Cal shoots at Jack several times but misses.
- An officer shoots a man then shoots himself.There are intense scenes of people panicking and fighting as the ship goes down. People are swept away as the water comes in, others fall down the sloping deck, some jump into the icy waters, and some are killed by flying debris. People have fist fights and fire guns.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:
- The early scenes of searching through the sunken ship are eerie.
- Rose nearly falls from the ship when Jack tries to save her.
- Many dead bodies are shown floating in the water, including mothers and children. Rose (as narrator) tells us that 1500 people went into the ocean and only six were saved.
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:
- Rose is suicidal and about to jump off the ship when Jack saves her.
- Some people are shown preparing for their deaths. They include the Captain, the ship’s designer, an old couple in their bed and a mother with her two children.
Children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie has some use of substances. For example:
- Characters drink and smoke throughout the movie.
- A man falls over when he dances while drunk.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Jack does several nude drawings.
- Jack draws Rose in the nude.
- Jack and Rose kiss passionately and have sex, but the scenes don’t show anything too graphic.
None of concern
This movie has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Titanic 3D is a classic dramatic movie about the sinking of the Titanic. It is also a beautiful love story of two young lovers from very different social classes. It will appeal to older adolescents but is too intense for younger children. Its intensity is heightened by new 3D effects. At 195 minutes, it is a very long movie for children to sit through. You might also be concerned by some of the coarse language.
The main message from this movie is that love overcomes social boundaries.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include courage in the face of disaster and selflessness.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as:
- why the passengers in steerage were considered less important than those in first class
- how to view the actions of the people who tried to save themselves at the expense of others
- why men in the early twentieth century had so much power to control women.