The Truman Show – Movie Review

As a change from my usual uploads of anime reviews and Godzilla movies, I’ve decided to go a different route for this review. The Truman Show is a drame comedy starring Jim Carrey, following the life of Truman Burbank as he tries to escape a life he’s found out is a complete lie. I chose The Truman Show because, quite simply, it is my favorite movie. Almost everything in it I love, the protagonist, the setting the themes, it’s all great to me. But what makes this movie so great to me? Lets find out.

Story (Spoilers)


Ok, before I start with the story, I just want to say that I won’t be giving away the main twist and will try to conceal it as best I can. The twist is just so good and thought-provoking that you need to see it to truly admire it.

Anyway, so the plot. The movie follows the everyman known as Truman Burbank, a man with a seemingly perfect life that runs like clockwork. However, when things start to go awry in his life, and many mysterious moments start occurring, he soon realizes he’s at the center of an entire industry, used as a tool for entertainment. You can probably get what I mean with that statement, but honestly, the way this movie molds its major reveal is splendid. It starts off almost like a typical ‘Jim Carrey movie’. Truman is acting aloof and seems to be acting par for the course. But at the start, something happens that both shocks you and immediately has you scratching your head. That’s the beauty of this movie, it’s setup is instantly intriguing, I remember watching this movie and throughout a good chunk of it I was just thinking “What is happening here?” When the reveal happens, I was kinda expecting it but the fact my assumption was right was what made it a truly despicable twist. Despicable because it means that this lovable man has been living a lie and is being manipulated in such a way he can’t believe anyone, even himself. It descends in a very tense movie for me, you’re left rooting for Truman and begging for him to escape this lie of a life. The movies comedic elements stop the film from descending into inception levels of crazy, offering some pretty funny gags from Carrey, but they never take center stage. If you want a story that makes you think, and I mean think! Definitely consider watching this movie.

The-Truman-Show-1.jpghttps://www.popoptiq.com/the-truman-show-an-intellectual-and-emotional-masterpiece/

Characters


Aside from Truman himself, almost every character is honestly a detestable human being. They’re all trained to keep Truman trapped in this prison of existence. But before we get to them, let’s talk about the star of the show, Truman Burbank. In honesty, he is a very typical Jim Carrey character, he’s optimistic, frantic, childish and sports a somewhat ridiculous hairstyle like so many of his other characters. But while many of his well-known characters like Ace Ventura and Lloyd Christmas are purely comedic with only a dash if sincerity, Truman is the exact opposite. He is funny don’t get me wrong, but the sincerity and humanity in this character is truly something to admire. Before he finds out the truth he’s just your everyday sincere man with a life he’s contempt with, but he displays desires, dreams and this really makes you wish the best for him throughout the movie. You see little quirks in his character connected to his past, aqua-phobia, a habit of ripping out models faces in magazines, and throughout all this you’re left wondering why? When the reveal finally comes around, Truman is left confused, unsure if he’s crazy or not, it’s heartbreaking to see this man going through such turmoil and that’s what makes him such a great character, you really do feel for him. The other characters serve mainly to propel the twist forward. The wife is especially bad, controlling Truman and keeping him from realizing his dreams, when she ‘breaks character’, it does show cracks in her resolve but also displays a true lack of love for her husband. His best friend is also a terrible character, actively manipulating Truman to think he’s crazy and lying to his face while doing it. The real villain of the movie is Christof the Director. He displays misplaced affection towards Truman, seeing him as his son, or rather creation and is willing to do anything to maintain his status, wait for a later paragraph where I really discuss this guy. SO overall, the characters around Truman can be seen as truly awful people keeping him trapped, while Truman himself is a lovable goofy guy with some real emotion and relatable traits.

31-the-truman-show.w710.h473.jpghttp://www.vulture.com/2018/06/how-the-truman-show-predicted-the-future.html

Presentation


There isn’t really much to say about the presentation in this movie. A lot of my movie reviews, primarily my Godzilla reviews focus on presentation in relation to the action and effects, but this movie doesn’t really have much of that. But one thing I will commend this movie on is its ability to create a blissfully sinister setting. This suburbia is brightly colored, similar to a village set at Disneyland almost, and this immediately gives off this really fake vibe. The sickly brightness of this world is what makes you really question its legitimacy. But the highlight in terms of presentation in this movie is the ending sequence. This moment is more character driven, but the way it’s shot really sells it. Without giving too much away, Truman has found a way out of this life, and Christof. It’s shot so that Truman is looking up at the sky while Christof is talking to him, giving him this god like presence. As Christof explains that he;s been there for Truman since day 1, you do feel emotion in his words but can understand just how misplaced this feeling is. The scene also shows Truman genuinely considering staying, the idea of a perfect life is enough to make anyone consider such a thing. The scene ends with Truman leaving with his catchphrase,  “In case I don’t see you… good afternoon, good evening, and good night.” Truly a beautifully crafted sequence.

on-the-truman-show.jpghttp://standplaatswereld.nl/2018/06/05/re-viewing-the-truman-show/

The Themes on Display


You know that meme Symbolism is everywhere in this movie, and I mean EVERYWHERE. This movie covers themes of religion, the idea of simulated reality and is a commentary on reality television. The ideas of religion being displayed how Truman’s audience sees him as this perfect entity that they all watch almost out of obligation. The simulated reality themes are the most prevalent, and actually left ,e thinking about a lot of things. What if your life is just a simulation, everyone around you is there to maintain you in this false existence, everything is built around you for better or worse. It really hurts to think about these ideas and if that’s what the movie set out to accomplish then it succeeded. Finally, the commentary on reality TV is also shown in a satirical yet clever way. The idea that reality TV is all staged, all meant to serve only as jovial and mindless entertainment, often at the expense of those on display, it’s really quite amazing how well this movie nails this idea. These themes are so prevalent, that there are mental illnesses out there named after this movie, look up the Truman Show Delusion to see for yourself. If you want to be left contemplating many things, maybe even existence itself, this movie will provide you with much to ponder.

trumanhttp://www.tysto.com/2018/03/truman-show/

Grades


  • Story: 5/5 – The setup is enough to get you instantly hooked. The slow reveal of the twist leaves you glued to the screen and the end is beyond satisfying.
  • Characters: 4/5 – I wish there was a few more likable characters, but Truman is so goofy and likable you’re satisfied with just him.
  • Presentation: 4/5 – A eerily sublime town is a great setting for this kind of movie, and the end sequence is one of the great movie moments for me.
  • Genre Representation: 4/5 – As a comedy it has some clever jokes, as a drama is builds a lot of tension and in terms of commentary it excels.
  • (Unique Grade) Existential…ness: 5/5 – After watching this film, I just sat and pondered for about half an hour, and I loved it. This movie is so clever it makes you think really long and hard about life, such an impact cannot be ignored.

 

  • Final Grade: 5/5 – This movie quickly found its way into my brain and has stayed there. I cannot recommend this film enough, I love the idea, the themes, the protagonist and everything else about it. Not else to say but “Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, Good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight.”

Thank you for reading my post, I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, please consider leaving a like and following my blog for updates on future posts. Till next time.

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