Truman Show Review | Teen Ink

Truman Show Review

March 22, 2019
By barye BRONZE, Washington, District Of Columbia
barye BRONZE, Washington, District Of Columbia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The Truman Show tells a unique story through the perspective of its central character, who leads a seemingly ordinary life but must weave his way through the hidden puzzle of his environment which reveals to him nothing is really as it seems. The film follows the simple life of Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) who doesn't suspect the truth of his reality, that his entire life is being broadcasted on live TV all around the world 24/7. The bizarre accessibility of Truman’s life has made him a celebrity like no other, without him even knowing it.

The enormous dome-shaped set that is Truman’s world is a town called Seahaven which is actually Seaside, a small resort community in northwest Florida on the Gulf Coast. This coastal environment is meant to be somewhat of a paradise for Truman where the weather is always nice, he has a steady daily routine, a loving wife, and there is a friendly small town atmosphere. Truman appears to be happy with his life and is unaware that everyone he knows is a paid actor filling different roles. Truman knows nothing outside of Seahaven as he both physically cannot leave and for numerous reasons, has always been convinced to stay. Whether it be Truman’s overly concerned wife Meryl or past traumas about water and travel, TV producer, Christof (Ed Harris) has meticulously planned every component of Seahaven to ensure the show goes on as long as possible. The unique camera placement throughout the film reveals the absurdity of actually producing something like The Truman Show and it is one element of this film that always seems to intrigue me.

Though Truman does not see anything inherently wrong with the world he lives in, his natural curiosity of the outside world eventually builds up within him and sets the tone for the rest of the film. Initiated by a few unexplainable technical difficulties noticed by Truman, the previously unsuspecting star of the show begins to question his environment that seems unusually responsive to his behavior. With the goal of finding Lauren, Truman’s initial love interest, he becomes determined to leave Seahaven and travel to Fiji, the furthest point from Seahaven on the globe.

For the rest of the film, we see Truman become increasingly more suspicious of his environment as his determination to discover the secret of his world directs his seemingly manic yet justified behavior. The trajectory of the rest of the film is somewhat inevitable as Truman becomes confident that he is at the center of some all-encompassing conspiracy. Truman, with a total determination to leave Seahaven overcomes his fear of the water and is nearly killed by the shows creator Christof before the film’s visually and emotionally striking end.

While at face value The Truman Show may sometimes appear to rely on its own absurdity, the film also holds a deeper theme of our own acceptance of reality. A core message of the film is that “we accept the reality of the world in which we are presented”, explained by Christof during an interview about the background of his show. This line reveals that The Truman Show is much more than a fictitious environment filled by Jim Carrey’s uplifting personality but a reminder to its viewers to question the world around you. It is a reminder that even when the odds are against you, you can make a change in your reality. As technology evolves and enables us to manipulate and distort each others sense of reality these core themes of The Truman Show prove to be increasingly relevant and essential to maintaining a healthy outlook on life. The Truman Show checks all the boxes for an entertaining film and with a closer look, it does a lot more than just that.

The author's comments:

The Truman Show is one of my favorite movies and I enjoyed writing this.

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