Before the film returns to Titanic, just after older Rose has explained to Mr. Lovett that the woman in the photograph is her, we see the following exchange of dialogue (whilst older Rose settles in to the smaller ship in search for the Heart of the Ocean).

Older Rose:

Have you met my granddaughter Lizzie? She takes care of me.

Rose's granddaughter. Lizzie:

We met just a few minutes ago, remember Nana, up on deck?

Older Rose:

(shrugs it off, with a hand to the head, as if she doesn't know what she is talking about).

titanic image of older Rose

Excuse me for being a bit thick but what is the meaning exactly behind this? I must be missing something.

  • 2
    That she's suffering from what's likely some form of Alzheimer's or dementia? I'm guessing it's a way to imply that she may be a less-than-trustworthy narrator.
    – Catija
    Jan 14, 2017 at 23:46
  • @Catija but she remembers every detail with Titanic?
    – cmp
    Jan 14, 2017 at 23:47
  • 3
    ... Hence the "less-than-trustworthy narrator" part. Regardless, people with early stages of dementia tend to have more issues with short-term memory (meeting someone new) than with long-term memory (a story she's likely told several times throughout her life).
    – Catija
    Jan 14, 2017 at 23:48
  • It's used as foreshadowing of her about to die. Aside from her being old, the usage of Dementia or old age forgetfulness is often used as an audience cue that the character is suffering from old age death complications.
    – cde
    Jan 15, 2017 at 0:02
  • @Catija but why would Lizzie joke about it, or say what she said? Why would (for the characters, not audience) an exchange of such dialogue mean?
    – cmp
    Jan 15, 2017 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


This is actually meant to confirm the doubts that Lewis Bodine had about her actually being Rose Dewitt Bukater. Lewis and Brock were arguing before Rose and her granddaughter arrived about the authenticity of Rose's story and who she really was.

LEWIS: She's a goddamned liar--Some nut case seeking money or publicity. God only knows why, like that Russian babe, Anesthesia. Rose Dewitt Bukater died on the Titanic when she was 17, right?

BROCK: That's right- If she had lived, she'd be over 100.

LEWIS: Okay, so she's a very old goddamned liar. Look, I've already done the background on this woman all the way back to the '20s when she was working as an actress. An actress! There's your first clue, Sherlock. Her name was Rose Dawson back then. Then she marries this guy named Calvert. They move to Cedar Rapids and she punches out a couple of kids. Now, Calvert's dead, and from what I hear, Cedar Rapids is dead.

BROCK: And everybody who knows about the diamond is supposed to be dead or on this boat, but she knows.

Yes...Rose was over 100 years old and more than likely suffered from some sort of short term memory issues. However, this particular scene was more of a light comic relief confirming the suspicions of Lewis.

After Rose arrives and is unpacking, Lewis and Brock go to check on her. This is when Rose has her short term memory lapse. Immediately following her shrugging off her comment, we see Lewis roll his eyes to Brock in somewhat of an "I told you so" manner.

  • But why would Lizzie joke about it, or say 'up on deck'? What difference does that make?
    – cmp
    Jan 15, 2017 at 18:04
  • She just said "up on deck" because that's where they were when they were introduced...up on the deck of the ship. Jan 15, 2017 at 18:10

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