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First-Time Watch Review - The Truman Show

by Dana Andersen. Published Mon 13 Jul 2020 12:25

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The Truman Show has become ingrained in pop culture, both hilarious and terrifying, many people consider it a ‘must watch’.

Following literal star of the show Truman Burbank, played by Jim Carrey, he’s going about his ‘normal’ life, only to have it all fall apart upon meeting Lauren, played by Natasha McElhone.

From here, he goes on a mission to discover the truth of his life, which is that its a fully orchestrated TV show, with him as the very real main character.

Although an interesting plot, it takes everything slightly too far.

It can’t just be a televised experiment, it has to be a TV show that everyone in the world watches.

Truman goes on his ‘mission’ to find out the truth after meeting Lauren, an activist against the show, once, and apparently immediately falling in love, despite having a wife who wants to start a family.

Perhaps at the time of release, these are things that would have earned an ironic chuckle, or have been overlooked, but for a modern audience, it feels like laziness.

Elements like Truman’s dad being killed off in the show to provide Truman with a fear of the water, preventing him from leaving the set, is smart, showing the film certainly also has its positives.

Hidden cameras, and small ‘mistakes’, like the travel agent still having her bib on from make up, are also clever and fun elements, for the audience to look out for.

It’s also interesting seeing Jim Carrey in a more serious role, even now. Although he’s still goofy, as is typical for him, Truman certainly holds a depth that makes him likeable and evokes an audience connection.

Just as well, considering the basis of the show is that people are sick of seeing actors, and want ‘real’ emotion.

Iconic shots, such as the ending shot of Truman at the edge of the set, are impactful, and likely a part of the reason this stood out as an incredible film to so many people.

Recognising how relevant the plot is for a current audience holds importance too. With platforms like Youtube, we are beginning to see people who, like Truman, are filmed and documented from the moment they are born.

The cameras aren’t hidden, and they aren’t on a real set, but there are certainly some similarities that parent vloggers would likely prefer not to address.

Overall, The Truman Show is good. In some ways, it aged badly, but in most ways, it has remained funny, entertaining, and good thought fodder.

Now that its on Netflix in the UK, its worth a watch if its not one you’ve already seen.



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