“The Truman Show” is the most elaborate and extreme reality TV show you’ll ever come across. It’s a good thing this only exists in the movies!
The Truman Show, in this case, is both the title of the 1998 movie by Peter Weir and the fictional long-running (30 years!), 24-hour reality program that was presented in it. It starred Jim Carey as Truman Burbank, a peppy middle-aged man who lives the kind of life that can only be described as something you’d only see on television and in the movies. He’s literally a creation of the media – he was adopted by a corporation only to be raised in front of the cameras for the rest of his life. He was adored by all viewers. He’s a media sensation. Only, he’s the only one unaware of the scope of his popularity. Or that his life was the way it was all thanks to elaborate orchestration by its creator Christof (played by Ed Harris) and a bevy of cast and crew.
But one day, Truman finally realized that something’s amiss, and that prompted his life-changing quest for the truth.
Last week, I came across this interesting article on What Culture that discussed the open-ended yet seemingly optimistic conclusion of “The Truman Show.” It posited that although there was promise of nothing but a good, new life for Truman from that point on, there’s a greater chance of the opposite happening to him. I’d have to agree; Truman was practically part of an entire generation’s daily life, so he’d no doubt be hounded all the time by nosey people in the “real” world, not to mention he’d probably suffer a severe case of culture shock.
It’s a relief it’s all just a work of fiction, really.
More than the performances of the actors themselves, “The Truman Show” is best remembered for its incredible storyline. Now, I would never be sure how viewers from the ‘90s perceived the message of “The Truman Show.” Reality television has evolved so much since then, that is, I guess you could say that what exists today is probably more intrusive, over-the-top, and elaborately scripted than ever. However, I do think the extent that was showcased in the movie remains to be baffling, not to mention wrong in all levels, until this day. It perfectly illustrates playing god to the extreme. The story presented in “The Truman Show” is nothing short of brilliant, and would definitely spawn interesting conversations among you and your companions even long after the final credits have rolled.
Let’s have you started with its trailer:
All screenshots in this article were sourced from Beautiful Stills from Beautiful Films.
Like this article? Check out our articles from the Friday Movie Flashback series in the Lomography magazine!