Wednesday Rewind: The Truman Show by @destroytheearth

It's hard to really comprehend the impact The Truman Show would have had in 1998 when it came out. Jim Carrey was just a comedian, Peter Weir was best known for Dead Poet's Society and Big Brother had never even aired.

Still, today, this film is even more relevant than it was when released, and it's impact has been noted by both mass consumers and renowned artists. Hit the jump to find out why:

Spoiler Pirate says: "Yaargh! Here be spoilers!"

It's a simple concept, but one that twists back in on itself endlessly. A man has no idea that he is the star of the world's biggest 24/7 reality show and has been since he was born. To paraphrase the film, he accepts the reality that is presented to him, and believes his life is real; his wife, his best friend, his parents, he has no idea they are just actors.

Instantly, you begin to wonder: would you realise if it were you? If you found out, would you want to accept that everyone you loved was only around you because they were paid, that your life was a joke? Or would you pretend it was all real? All this and more from a one-sentence synopsis.

The film itself takes it even further, parodying the idea of celebrity culture. Are the people watching the show cheering for Carrey's Truman to escape, ending their favourite TV series? Or do they just think this is part of the plot? Is it better to be protected and sheltered in an artificial world or to be struck with the grim, harsh truth of reality? (read some Robert Nozick to see how deep that rabbit hole goes) What would you say if you met what amounted to your "god"?

The questions keep on coming. Not that the film is purely an intellectual exercise, oh no; it's hugely entertaining. It's funny and engaging. Carrey's gurning and posturing has a purpose for once, but his genuine acting talent proves, once again, that those with the dedication to make idiots of themselves on camera are the ones with the guts to truly commit to a role; not to mention, it foreshadows where his career was to go. Just take a look back at the scene where he meets his father, knowing the film's outcome, and you realise that his facial expressions show what Truman was really thinking, even though the audience had no idea on first viewing.

Not that the rest of the cast are outshone: Laura Linney, Ed Harris, Noah Emmerich, Paul Giamati and unknown Natascha McElhone all excel themselves. Meanwhile, the direction is nothing short of brilliant, as we're treated to shots that capture every nuance, but still subtly show that much of what we are seeing is being filmed with supposed button and hidden cams.

Then there's that end scene... A scene so beautifully put together, I saw a projection of it displayed as part of an exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in Paris; it's that incredible... It makes you cry, it makes you laugh, it makes you think; what more could you want from a film?

If, somehow, you've never seen The Truman Show - if you think it's just another silly Jim Carrey flick - you could not be more wrong. If you have seen it,  you need to watch it again: its genius is easy to forget.

1 comment:

  1. Word up! Best movie ever made.