Time: 103 Minutes
Age Rating: Low level offensive language
Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank
Laura Linney as Hannah Gill
Ed Harris as Christof
Natascha McElhone as Sylvia
Holland Taylor as Alanis Montclair
Director: Peter Weir
An insurance salesman (Jim Carrey) is oblivious of the fact that his entire life is a TV show and his family members are mere actors. As he starts noticing things and uncovers the truth, he decides to escape.
The Truman Show is known as a classic and for very good reason. I remembered watching it a while ago just hearing about its concept and knowing that Jim Carrey was in the lead role, and I liked it. More recently on a rewatch though, I loved it even more. It’s a smart, funny and entertaining satire, and strong on the writing, directing and acting fronts.
The Truman Show already has a great concept of a man who doesn’t know that his entire life is actually a TV show and everyone in his life are actors. The idea is executed brilliantly too, managing to be both entertaining and deep, with a perfect blend and balance of both comedy and drama. It is paces itself excellently over its hour and 40 minute runtime, and unravels and de-constructs Truman’s world in a meticulous and gradual way, even though you know pretty early on what’s really happening. The screenplay is original, enjoyable and is surprisingly thought provoking, offering some clever insights on the human experience and raising questions. It’s a deep and thought provoking film that is still light hearted at times. It’s a perfect mix of so many themes, obviously the likes of reality television, media and the public’s obsession with celebrities are here, but even topics including meaning of life, the reality of choice and existentialism can be seen here. In many ways, The Truman Show was ahead of its time, the topics it touches upon still resonate strongly in today’s society and it seems more relevant than ever. As someone who had a second viewing on this movie, I can confirm that it is even better on repeat viewings as I got more from the deeper meanings and themes beyond its plot.
The acting from everyone is great but the highlights are really two performances. Jim Carrey plays lead character Truman, and this movie cements how good of an actor he is. Stepping aside from his typecast roles, Carrey surprises with a dense, dramatic and well-balanced performance that is truly heartwarming, he’s quirky and optimistic but still very much human, especially with his reactions to certain revelations in the movie. Ed Harris plays Christof, the show’s creator, and he does well in a nuanced performance. Christof cares about Truman in a way, but at the same time wants to keep the show going, and Harris is great at portraying both sides of him.
Peter Weir directs this movie, and overall he does a great job with it. The production design is nothing short of amazing as the entire city in Truman’s world gives off a feeling of being artificial like a television set, while still having a certain realism to it. It’s also well shot, with the cinematography also makes great use of camera angles by capturing the events from different point of views. The editing keeps the drama flowing smoothly, and music also makes its presence felt from time to time.
Whether you place it in the category of comedy, sci-fi, drama or all of them at once, The Truman Show is a great film. It’s an entertaining and funny, yet heartfelt take on the absurdity of reality television and human nature, and is equally effective as a meditation on the various themes it deals with. If you haven’t already, definitely check out The Truman Show as soon as you can, it’s definitely worth it.