Anthony's Film Review
The Truman Show (1998)
Jim Carrey does a fine job making a leap from silly comedies to this intriguing drama...
I would like to begin my review of The Truman Show with an interesting retrospective observation. I'm looking back on this 1998 movie about a reality television show from the subsequent decade when reality shows have become a major genre in television. I can't help but wonder if the movie predicted this trend. That's not to say I really believe The Truman Show directly led to the premiere of Survivor, which inspired many more shows like Big Brother, The Bachelor, The Osbournes, and The Apprentice. I just notice how the movie preceded all of these shows.
Perhaps this is why The Truman Show is such an interesting movie. Its premise was ahead of its time. The idea of a man who slowly discovers that his life is broadcast live on TV around the world for 24 hours a day since his birth is an intriguing one. I could imagine the mental and emotional conflicts that might play out in such a character. The movie does a good job taking this what-if question and carefully exploring what would happen next.
While the plot is nice, the real reason I like the movie is its star. Jim Carrey, previously known for silly comedies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and Liar Liar, enters the world of cinematic drama. It's always interesting to see an actor make a leap between genres, especially from comedy to drama since it's usually such a huge leap. Thankfully, Carrey succeeds in the transition. He fits nicely in the shoes of Truman Burbank, the title character who is the center of the reality TV show, without remnant signs of his comedic roots.
Now let's put it all together. The premise of a reality TV show and Jim Carrey's performance really do make the movie worthwhile. I enjoyed seeing Truman going through life like any ordinary person while seeing strange things here and there. I remember one funny scene where a cloud pours rain onto Truman but nobody else, and it follows Truman as he tries to run from it. But the real treat is the dramatic moments. Over the course of the story, Truman really questions things, from the life he's lived so far to the world he has known since childhood. It's satisfying to see this process as it leads to the eye-opening finale.
There is one more thing I liked about The Truman Show. The character of Truman Burbank may not be like people who don't live in reality shows, but he is like the rest of us because everyone goes through a phase of discovery. We all live according to what our families and immediate environments feed us. Later on, we discover a world beyond the one we've known all along. The same thing happens when we become more aware of our strengths, weaknesses, and passions, from which we can decide our future. Essentially, The Truman Show is a metaphor of life. No matter what kind of world one lives in, there is always another one beyond, an exciting place just waiting to be discovered.
For all of these reasons, I think The Truman Show is a pretty good movie and one that many people will enjoy.
For more information about The Truman Show, visit the Internet Movie Database.