We all know what impact Titanic had on the film industry when it was first released in 1997. The movie went to set benchmarks and raised the bar a bit too high. A classic love story, accompanied by a disastrous ending. Seventeen-year-old Rose hails from an aristocratic family and is set to be married. When she boards the Titanic, she meets Jack Dawson, an artist, and falls in love with him. But James Cameron’s Titanic has a small plot hole with its necklace narrative. No movie can be perfect and something or the other always comes up regarding the classics, and Titanic is no exception either. We will tell you exactly how it is a plot hole.
At the 46-minute mark in Titanic, Rose enjoys some quiet time in her room after being saved by Jack. Cal pays her a visit, and inexplicably doesn’t seem to understand the source of his fiancee’s “melancholy.” He does, however, come with a gift: a 55-carat diamond that was previously owned by Henry XVI, Le Coeur de la Mer. “It’s overwhelming,” Rose says after Cal puts “The Heart of the Ocean” around her neck and lovingly gazes at her visage in a mirror. Importantly, this moment doesn’t take place on the same day of Rose’s art session with Jack, but rather at least one day before, which is why some interpret Rose’s claim that she “only wore it once” as a plot hole. However, one could argue that because Cal put the jewelry around Rose’s neck, she wasn’t truly “wearing” it. In Rose’s mind, she didn’t actively make the choice to wear Le Coeur de la Mer until the next day when she models for Jack.
The necklace later plays an important role in the film’s second half, as Cal plots against DiCaprio’s character and uses the diamond as a framing device. The controversial ending of Titanic revealed that Rose had “The Heart of the Ocean” all along, which seemingly connects to her claim that she only wore it once. Rose ultimately lets go of the past by throwing Le Coeur de la Mer into the ocean. It’s a poignant moment to close the film, and it thematically links to the “I’ll never let go” concept that’s steadily reinforced throughout the narrative.
So, if the diamond necklace represents a positive and lasting memory of Jack, then Rose most likely blocked out any negative associations with Cal. After all, both men died tragically, and the specifics of memories will naturally change over the course of several decades. But even though Rose might be fully aware that Cal originally placed Le Coeur de la Mer around her neck earlier in Titanic, she may truly believe that she really only wore the necklace while posing for Jack.
In Titanic, the mid-movie portrait sequence anchors the narrative and also marks the moment when Rose and Jack truly fall in love. The first half of the movie explores their friendship aboard the doomed ship, along with Rose’s rocky relationship with fiancee Cal Hockey (Billy Zane). The wealthy businessman continuously patronizes Jack in Cameron’s film, but still invites him to a first-class dinner: a reward for calming Rose down when she seemed ready to end her life. This all leads to the now-famous portrait scene, in which Rose asks Jack to paint her in the nude. Winslet’s character then disrobes and wears nothing but Le Coeur de la Mer. In 1996, older Rose claims that she only wore the necklace that one time, but she actually wore it before when it was given to her by Cal as a gift to calm her nerves.
Regardless of the plot hole, nobody can deny the impact and the beauty of the Titanic. It’s been over two decades since Jack and Rose’s ill-fated romance broke our hearts and turned “never let go” into the most romantic vow one could make. At the time of filming, Titanic was the most expensive movie ever made, and no one could have predicted the monstrous success headed its way.
The blockbuster went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time (before being dethroned by James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar) and has entered the pop cultural zeitgeist as one of the essential films to see before you die. But even after dissecting the film, its stars, and the real-life events that inspired it, there are still some things about the movie that remain endlessly fascinating.