What You Need To Know:
Julie Waters does a fine job as Bernie, but TITANIC TOWN is edited in a slapdash fashion that diminishes the impact of her performance and the drama. The movie also ends on a note of despair and defeat, with the violence still raging in Bernie’s neighborhood, despite all of her efforts. This undercuts the movie’s Christian worldview supporting Bernie’s peacemaking efforts, as does some strong foul language from the characters and other objectionable elements
(CC, Ab, LLL, VV, A, D, MM) Christian worldview that supports the peace movement in strife-torn Northern Ireland but ends on a fatalistic, pessimistic note of defeat & despair & includes some immoral behavior coming from its Christian protagonists; 27 mostly strong obscenities & 16 mostly strong profanities; moderate violence such as riots, gunshots, a few explosions, & mob attacks family & bloodies boy’s head, nearly killing him; no sex but teenage girl appears ready to lose her virginity, though nothing happens; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, terrorism, vanity & betrayal.
The troubles between Protestants and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland have been fodder for movies before, but TITANIC TOWN focuses on the efforts of one Catholic lady to bring peace to West Belfast. Regrettably, despite a pro-peace attitude throughout the story, this uneven movie ends on a note of despair and defeat.
TITANIC TOWN opens as Bernie McPhelimy and her husband, Aidan, move their family into a new house in West Belfast. As soon as they arrive, violence breaks out, and British troops move into the neighborhood. When her best friend dies from an errant IRA bullet while looking after her son, Bernie decides to take action by attending a local peace rally. The rally, however, is led by Protestants, and Bernie begins to make statements criticizing the IRA and attacking a Catholic neighbor who leads a vocal protest against the English and against the Protestant peacemakers. Her Catholic community starts thinking of her as some kind of a traitor, and this hostility puts a strain on her family, including the life of her teenage daughter, Annie. Meanwhile, her husband accuses her of being naïve when it comes to the political realities of the situation.
Julie Waters does a fine job as Bernie, but TITANIC TOWN is edited in a slapdash fashion that diminishes the impact of her performance and the drama of the story. The movie also ends on a note of despair and defeat, with the violence still raging in Bernie’s neighborhood, despite all of her efforts. This undercuts the movie’s Christian worldview supporting Bernie’s peacemaking efforts. Also undercutting that worldview is a bit of un-Christian behavior among Bernie’s family. For instance, not only is there some strong swearing but Bernie vainly devotes more time to her peacemaking efforts than she does to her family’s personal needs, and Annie seems interested in losing her virginity to a boy she starts seeing, although nothing happens.
Ultimately, TITANIC TOWN could use a rewrite on its script, as well as a more organized shooting and editing style. It’s really too bad, because the movie could have provided a wonderful Christian perspective on an international conflict which too often has put a spotlight on the differences that divide Christians rather than the things that unite them. It’s a missed opportunity not only for the filmmakers but also for the whole world.