THE TRUMAN SHOW
Escaping Personal Restrictions
Release Date: June 05, 1998
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 104 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Director: Peter Weir
Producer: Edward S. Feldman & Scott Rudin
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Address Comments To:
(B, C, L, V, A, M) Light moral worldview with Christian allegorical elements and emphasizing the value of freedom & individual choice with reference to God; 4 obscenities & 2 profanities; mild action violence including chase scenes & attempted drowning; no sex; no nudity; alcohol use; no smoking; and miscellaneous immorality including massive deception on individual.
In Jim Carrey’s new movie THE TRUMAN SHOW, he turns his funny bone into a panic button as he plays a man trying to escape a 24 hour a day TV broadcast program that always focuses on him. Very moral, without sex, nudity, violence, and only a few obscenities, this brilliant but imperfect fable tells about the dangers of trying to control and manipulate others.
MTV’s THE REAL WORLD features non-actor young people of different races and faiths, all living under one roof. These volunteer specimens have agreed to have their lives taped for a period of time so that the rest of the world can see what sort of drama would arise out of their given situations. The editors cut out all the boring parts, and every week a new program of condensed, but real drama is displayed. In Jim Carrey’s new movie THE TRUMAN SHOW, this comic actor turns his funny bone into a panic button as he plays a man trying to escape a 24 hour a day broadcast program that always focuses on him.
The producer of THE TRUMAN SHOW thinks he has all the factors controlled. He hand picked Truman from the womb, broadcast his birth and placed him in a fictional town on a fictional seashore. There are 5,000 hidden cameras scattered throughout the town capturing Truman’s every move. Truman’s friends and all of the townspeople are hired actors, who sometimes are fed lines from the producer. The episodes of Truman’s life are pre-scripted and are orchestrated by the actors. Until the present when he remembers a strange girl, Truman has been completely oblivious to all this.
Back in Truman’s teenage years, a girlfriend takes him to the beach and tells him that this is all a lie. Her father approaches quickly with a car, tells Truman that she is crazy and says they are moving to Fiji. After current events in Truman’s life becomes stale, Truman develops wanderlust and wants to escape. At every turn, he is discouraged by his wife (set-up of course) who wants to have a baby and is cut-off by traffic (carefully orchestrated) and other obstacles. The producer decides to bring Truman’s long lost father back to the set, so that Truman might be encouraged to stay and redevelop this acquaintance. Truman doesn’t buy it, and one day, he stages his escape.
Though creative, ambitious and containing wonderful set design, THE TRUMAN SHOW, shows the audience a Jim Carrey they have never known. Though certainly able and capable, his performance may leave audiences confused who are conditioned to his crazy antics. Not funny enough to be a black comedy and not whimsical enough to be an engaging fantasy, THE TRUMAN SHOW hangs in limbo, like Truman’s bogus life. The backstory of how the TV program THE TRUMAN SHOW came into existence and is currently edited remains more interesting than the current story of on film. Throughout the movie, there exists a very detached and impersonal mood, creating a sense of discomfort and disinterest. Finally, Truman’s liberation is emotionally anti-climatic, as a result of poor direction.
Nevertheless, THE TRUMAN SHOW remains an original, moral and insightful story on personal freedom. Though on a much more personal scale, THE TRUMAN SHOW covers some of the same ground as BRAVEHEART with elements of overcoming the greater powers that exert restrictions on the individual. Truman doesn’t do it for the glory of God, but for mere personal freedom, a freedom many take for granted. This movie doesn’t have any sex, and the only violence is action oriented. Likewise, foul language is restricted. His hometown is the image of perfection, but without freedom, it is a cold landscape, a picturesque but Orwellian society.