The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show (1998)

GENRESComedy,Drama
LANGEnglish
ACTOR
Jim CarreyEd HarrisLaura LinneyNoah Emmerich
DIRECTOR
Peter Weir

SYNOPSICS

The Truman Show (1998) is a English movie. Peter Weir has directed this movie. Jim Carrey,Ed Harris,Laura Linney,Noah Emmerich are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1998. The Truman Show (1998) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama movie in India and around the world.

Since birth, a big fat lie defines the well-organised but humdrum life of the kind-hearted insurance salesman and ambitious explorer, Truman Burbank. Utterly unaware of the thousands of cleverly hidden cameras watching his every move, for nearly three decades, Truman's entire existence pivots around the will and the wild imagination of the ruthlessly manipulative television producer, Christof--the all-powerful TV-God of an extreme 24/7 reality show: The Truman Show. As a result, Truman's picturesque neighbourhood with the manicured lawns and the uncannily perfect residents is nothing but an elaborate state-of-the-art set, and the only truth he knows is what the worldwide television network and its deep financial interests dictate. Do lab rats know they are forever imprisoned?

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The Truman Show (1998) Reviews

  • An unassuming film that is thought provoking on so many levels, well acted and thoroughly enjoyable however you come to it

    bob the moo2004-10-29

    Truman Burbank is an ordinary guy in an ordinary little seaside town of Seahaven Island where nothing really happens. Everything is clean, everything is perfect, he knows people but never really connects to anyone. The one woman he ever really loved is not his wife and has long since left for the other side of the world where he longs to visit but feels he can never go. Paralysed by his fear of water since seeing his father die on a boating accident, Truman still feels he is missing something. A strange light falling from the sky, a man who reminds him of his dead father, a strange radio broadcast and the feeling that the world really stops when he shuts his eyes all combine to make him feel something is wrong – but what is it that he seeks but feels he cannot find? When I first saw this film it was with my girlfriend (who would then become my wife, then ex-wife!) and I remember how she and our friends felt a little bit cheated by the film that they had expected to be yet another wacky Jim Carrey comedy. In fairness to her and the others, it was easy to do this at the time – who would have thought that Jim Carrey would be able to act – certainly not the marketing department that sold this film on the basis of it being a hilarious film as opposed to the thoughtful and rewarding film it turned out to be. The plot can be viewed on so many levels that it is honestly easier to leave it to each viewer to take what they will from it. On the most obvious level it satirises the media, the emotional façade of television and (the increasingly relevant) look at reality shows. To others it will say as much about God, the empty drone of life and the things that we all desire. Of course to others it will just be a comedy with general comments to make – and there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever; in fact the multi-level approach works to make it appeal to many audiences. Starting as a comedy, I am always taken by how well the film moves to become more and more interesting but yet never loses sight of those audience members who have come for the basic story. Hence it delivers an enjoyable and engaging central narrative that, plainly put, makes for a comic and involving yarn – we grow to care for Truman and this makes the ending an emotional and satisfying one even if some viewers will bemoan the fact that (to them) it appears 'open ended'. That it is also a very thought-provoking affair is only a bonus, with the satire working on many levels. Of course by seeming to tackle so many subjects and issues in such a short running time, the film never really gets its teeth deep into any one of them but this is not a major problem because it leaves us to do that in our heads after the film finishes. The cast is roundly superb even if the majority of them are in minor roles. Of course it is easy now to look back at Carrey and accept that he can act straight but at the time it seemed so unlikely and few felt it was a good casting choice. Of course, seeing the end result it is clear that he can and he delivers such a great performance that he really makes the film work. He is comic but yet serious, sympathetic but not worthy of pity – it is a great delivery and one that basically meant that I now look at his Ace Ventura stuff as the 'other' category and see his acting as his real work (6 years ago that was vice versa). Carrey carries the film, being on screen for almost the entire film but he has good support from Linney, Emmerich, Krause and others who play it well despite being stuck in the necessary stiff and unreal roles. The controller etc roles are all well played and feature a collection of well known faces including a great support role from Harris through to roles for Giamatti, Shearer, Baker Hall and a few others. It may be Carrey's show but the support certainly helps. Overall this is a great film that can be appreciated as much for what it is on the surface (a great little comic story) as it can for the issues that it hints at all the time. There was a time when some viewers may have looked to a Carrey film to be a load of mugging an crude, basic laughs but this was the film that saw that change. Thought provoking, funny, entertaining, short, enjoyable and well acted throughout – well worth seeing and well worth coming back to several times.

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  • Genius

    Altaira1999-06-12

    I asked a friend to describe The Truman Show. He said, "No, it's not a comedy, well...not exactly." I didn't quite understand until I watched it myself. Truman takes on a tone quite different than any parody/comedies I've seen lately. The point (the media and its destructive powers) is subtlely relayed through dark humor, and you don't feel like the director is smashing you over the head with his morals. Peter Weir demonstrated his artistic genius in Dead Poets Society and here as well. The soundtrack is great, Ed Harris is stellar (what were they THINKING at the Academy?) and for once I actually liked Jim Carrey. His performance wasn't ribald for once. The final scene--I will not reveal it--is a majestic, long-awaited finish to an intellectual movie. Some people will insist that it was boring or pointless. Those are the same viewers who prefer slapstick, obvious humor to the subtle layers presented here. This is a thinking person's movie. If you can't see the underlying message here, of course you won't like it!

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  • One of the Most Original Films Ever Made

    Mark19882007-04-09

    'The Truman Show' epitomizes strong and original storytelling on screen. This film is emotionally engaging, didactic, witty, dramatic and very unique. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Truman Burbank has never left his ideal home town of Sea Haven. What he doesn't know is that his entire environment is a materialized set and he is the ignorant star of a reality TV show of epic proportions. Taking this entirely original concept, writer Andrew Niccol and director Peter Wier take the viewer into territory uncharted by anything in film history. Thus, the plot is entirely unpredictable but still flows along expertly. The tightness of the screenplay and the immaculate pacing of Peter Wier contribute largely to this film's brilliance. The acting performances are amongst the best I've ever seen. Jim Carey is superb as Truman, effortlessly conveying his fears, desires and personality. Ed Harris is excellent as the reclusive creator of the production. In addition, the entire support cast appears synthetic enough to let the audience know they are "acting" for Truman but in some scenes let their "genuine" feelings shine through. The ensemble simply cannot be faulted. Carey was hardly done by not to get an Oscar nomination for his performance. The music and visuals are top notch. The cinematography has a reality TV feel that is clever but never intrusive. The shot selection is of the highest quality, particularly in the movie's final sequence. Muscially, this film is incredible. Phillip Glass is a dream on the piano, perfectly evoking the mood for each section of the narrative. The two combine excellently during the scene in which Truman breaks his routine for the first time. During the sequence, Truman makes subtle changes to the bland routine he follows compliantly every day. The emotion of the music when combined with the apparent simplicity of Truman's actions makes this scene one the most powerful I'v ever experienced. This film is an absolute gem. It effortlessly combines everything a classic film should have. It has comedy, drama, strong character development, atmosphere, originality, superb visuals, a superb score, tight writing, raises interesting moral questions as well as providing insight into the human condition. One cannot watch this spectacular film without wondering how a human would react when put in that kind of situation. It touches on our sense of adventure, desire for conformity and the courage we require to question the life we are presented with. 'The Truman Show' does all this in the most accessible and compelling fashion. One of the greatest films of our time.

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  • A True American Classic

    kingoham51999-12-15

    When I first saw 'The Truman Show' I came out of the theatre amazed. This is your first clue that you are watching something different from your normal Jim Carrey movie. I love the dialogue, camera shot, performances, direction, music, and running time of this movie. There is nothing I would do to change it. I came away from 'The Truman Show' feeling inspired which is the goal of good filmmaking Jim Carrey was outstanding as Truman, underplaying him, not making him too comic or too dramatic, but giving true sincerity when asked. He deserved an Oscar nomination. Ed Harris has always been a good actor, but in this movie he's a great actor. He plays Christof with such arrogance and bullheadedness that you don't know whether he's helping or destroying Truman. He and the director, Peter Weir, deserved their Oscar nods. Weir, who directed the great 'Witness', uses different camera angles to make you feel like you're actually watching 'The Truman Show' and not a movie. He ends it before you get tired of the concept and helped Carrey and Harris give immaculate performances. Andrew Niccol script is a real star in the movie too because of it's inventiveness and ingenuity. Overall, 'The Truman Show' is what I like to call a true American classic.

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  • Life is Starting to Imitate Satire

    JamesHitchcock2005-08-31

    Life is starting to imitate satire. "The Truman Show" was only made seven years ago, but it predates the current mania for so-called "reality" television shows such as "Big Brother". The idea behind such shows is that they present the viewer with a slice of actual reality- real people in real situations with real emotions- rather than the simulated reality of drama or the edited reality of documentaries. The flaw in this idea is that nothing is more unreal than a reality show. The presence of the cameras has a distorting effect, inducing artificial behaviour patterns in those who appear in front of it, and the sort of people who star in such programmes are almost invariably eccentric exhibitionists. "The Truman Show" takes the central concept of reality TV shows one stage further in order to overcome this flaw: what would happen if we made a reality programme about a person who has absolutely no idea that he is appearing on television? Truman Burbank is an insurance executive, living in a small American seaside town called Seahaven, and happily married to a nurse named Meryl. Or at least he thinks he is. What Truman doesn't know is that he is the central character in a soap opera and that his whole life is a fiction. The company he works for does not exist. Seahaven, the island it stands on and the surrounding ocean are all part of a gigantic set, specially created for the programme and sealed off from the outside world in a gigantic geodesic dome. Everyone in Truman's life- Meryl, his mother, his colleagues at work, his best friend Marlon- are actors playing out their roles in his drama. For thirty years Truman has accepted his world unquestioningly, but at the beginning of the film a series of incidents- a light falling from the sky, the reappearance of his father, who was supposed to have drowned in a boating accident when Truman was a boy, strange messages picked up on his car radio- awaken his doubts. Although members of the cast make strenuous attempts to dissuade him, he decides to try and explore the world outside Seahaven; in particular he wants to travel to Fiji where he has been told that his former girlfriend Sylvia now lives. (Sylvia was written out of the show when the scriptwriters decided that he should marry Meryl instead). The film has certain similarities with another film from the late nineties, "Pleasantville", which dealt with an inverted version of the same idea; two teenagers from the real world are magically transported into the world of a fifties television show. In my view, however, "The Truman Show" is the better of the two. "Pleasantville" deals with its political themes in a heavy-handed way with some very obvious symbolism. "The Truman Show", although it deals with some weighty issues, is never ponderous or excessively serious; indeed, it is often very humorous. The main source of humour is the contrast between the naïve, trusting Truman and the behaviour of those around him, all living a lie and desperately trying to prevent Truman from finding out that it is a lie. I had previously thought of Jim Carrey as a rather annoying actor whose appeal was based upon the idea that manic overacting is in itself funny, but here as Truman he is very good indeed, both amusing and touching. I was also impressed by Ed Harris as Christof, the show's enigmatic producer. Another factor in the success of the film is its visual look. Seahaven (like the town in "Pleasantville") appears as an eerily perfect, not-quite-real version of the typical American small town, but was actually filmed in a real place, the purpose-built village of Seaside, Florida. There are similarities with the cult British sixties television series "The Prisoner", which was also filmed in an eerily perfect seaside village, Portmeirion in North Wales. The film is obviously a satire on the intrusiveness and obsession with celebrity of the modern media; added relevance was given by the fact that it came out shortly after the death of Princess Diana. There is, however, more to it than that. Much has been made of the film as religious allegory; it has been pointed out that Christof whose name is clearly, and quite deliberately, similar to "Christ", is a God-figure, whereas Truman (the "True Man") is a symbolic Everyman. It has even been claimed that the film is an anti-religious allegory, with Truman's final escape from Seahaven symbolic of man's need to break away from outdated religious dogmas. This is not an interpretation with which I would agree- if one is trying to put across a "God is dead" message, it seems odd to provide a God-figure who is very much real, not mythical or illusory. The imagery of the final scenes – the calm after the storm, the ascent up a flight of stairs into the sky and clouds- also struck me as religious rather than secular. Moreover, the film seems too complex to be reduced to any single allegorical meaning, although it certainly deals with the relationship between man and God. It also touches on man's need to explore- both to explore new places and also to explore new ideas and to break away from established ways of life and ways of thought- and on the nature of reality. Truman's world may seem unreal to us, but as Christof says, "we accept the reality we are presented with". This is a brilliant, multi-layered film, part comedy, part satire, part philosophical speculation, and in my view one of the two best movies of the late nineties. (The other was "American Beauty"). I felt it should have taken the "Best Picture" Oscar for 1999- "Shakespeare in Love" is a good film, but "The Truman Show" is a great one. It confirms my view that Peter Weir is one of the best directors currently working. 10//10

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