The Truman Show (1998)
Director: Peter Weir
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
I got thinking about The Truman Show after a friend at work said how The Adjustment Bureau reminded him of it. I can see where he’s coming from, people planning which direction your life will take without you knowing it.
I think that The Truman Show is one of Jim Carrey’s best films. It would seem that most of the movie world agrees with me as The Truman Show holds a 95% fresh ranking on Rotten Tomatoes and 90/100 on Metacritic – very respectable!
The Truman Show is the story of Truman Burbank, an insurance salesman who finds out that his entire life is a television show. Chosen out of five unwanted pregnancies, Truman was legally adopted by a television corporation and his whole life has been captured on camera.
We’re all familiar with the concept of ‘Big Brother’, but director Peter Weir and writer Andrew Niccol took a different approach with The Truman Show. When Truman finally meets Christof, the creator of ‘The Truman Show’, it is actually very endearing: Christof maintains that the artificial world he has created for Truman is perfect. Truman simultaneously becomes drawn to and repelled by Christof.
Truman, Christof, Meryl (Truman’s wife) and Marlon (Truman’s best friend) are all great characters. When Truman starts doubting the world around him, Meryl and Marlon’s reactions are fantastic. It is down to them to convince him that everything is okay. Natascha McElhone plays Lauren/Sylvia very well, too. Sylvia was hired to be an extra, Lauren, but was fired before she could reveal the truth to Truman.
The supporting cast of the viewers are great, too. ‘The Truman Show’ has been airing for the past 34 years and, in the real world, people have become very attached to Truman as, after all, they have been watching him since he was a baby. Indeed, his face is even on a few people’s cushions…
Of course, The Truman Show is a film but it does raise some interesting questions. Is the world Christof has created that awful? Could Truman have lived a happy and fulfilled life if the show had continued? That, my friends, is for you to decide.