The Truman Show

Clapper board

“In case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight.”  ~Truman Burbank~

Today’s random film selection comes from the comedy/drama genre. Directed by Peter Weir (director of Dead Poets Society) and starring the one and only Jim Carrey, it’s the 1998 hit, The Truman Show. This film won three Golden Globe awards and two BAFTAS.

I vaguely recall watching this film in elementary school, but I was a little kid with a very short attention span so, I don’t remember any of it. Watching it now, I’m blown away by how brilliant it is. Everything about it makes you wonder and want to question every single thing. Is my life a TV show and nobody’s telling me??

The Truman Show revolves around the splendid character known as Truman Burbank, who lives in Seahaven. He’s living a perfectly okay life where nothing that bad ever really happens to him. He has a wife, a job, a lovely house, friendly neighbors, what more could he ask for? The truth that Truman is ignorant to is that his whole life, from before he was even out of the womb, has been a reality show, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Millions of people watch him. Everyone he knows is actors, and everything is predetermined for him. Characters are purposely taken out of his life, and new ones are introduced.

As the movie progresses, he begins to notice things that are strange and not normal such as a light falling out of the ‘sky’ that has a label of a star on it and a bizarre radio signal that narrates his every move. He starts to feel claustrophobic and paranoid. Everyone around him is trying to convince him he’s losing his mind, but he knows better. He slowly starts to unravel the truth. It was frustrating to watch Truman trying to escape this place, but everyone around him making him stay. Jim Carrey is genuinely an astounding actor. It’s a mind-bending story that reminded me of one of his other role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

The Truman Show is one of the most creatively thought out movies I’ve seen. It was so interesting to see how they took you through the story. Sometimes it was in Truman’s eyes, other characters’ perspectives, or maybe even a perspective from inside Truman’s car radio. It almost gives me documentary vibes. They had cameras everywhere. Anywhere they could get a good shot of him.

The dialogue was another interesting aspect of the film. All of the people in Truman’s life had a script. They weren’t speaking from the heart like he was. It was a little sad seeing Truman’s ‘best friend’ saying something so heartfelt, only to have the showrunner in his ear, telling him what to say. What drew in so many viewers to the show was how real, and raw Truman was.

The last scene that we see Truman in is breathtaking and such a defining moment. It’s so emotional and beautiful because it’s what the film has been leading up to. The cinematography is good throughout, but in this scene it’s out of this world. When he’s walking up the stairs on the cloudy sky wall to the exit; that is cinema. That is an unforgettable scene that will stick with you. It represented the stairway to heaven, which stems from the symbolism that the showrunner is like God.

I was left wondering a few things at the end that were never addressed, though. For example, do all of the characters in Truman’s life live on the set? Especially his wife, is she always there? Other than that, I think it’s no surprise by the praise I’ve given The Truman Show throughout this review that it’s definitely another A film for me, and I think everyone should make time to watch this at least once in their life.