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Film Review: The Truman Show

Ethan Benedict, Staff Writer

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We have all experienced moments where we felt like we’re being watched despite being completely alone. Usually, this feeling is just that: a feeling. There’s usually no one watching us, but what if you were being watched, but not just for a moment, but for your whole life, and everyone else on the planet was watching you? This concept is brought to life in the 1998 film The Truman Show.

The Truman Show stars Jim Carry as Truman Burbank, whose life is a live reality TV show, unbeknownst to Truman. As the film progresses, Truman’s suspensions grow as he investigates the true nature of his life, while the TV show’s cast and crew attempt to stop him.

The Truman Show has an interesting concept, and the film’s execution is even better. Throughout the film, there are subtle clues  regarding the true nature of the place Truman lives. The Truman Show is one of the best examples of dramatic irony, where the audience knows something the character doesn’t. Truman not knowing his life is a TV show leaves the audience on the edge of their seat, wondering if Truman will discover the truth or not.

Watching Truman being manipulated and seeing his life predetermined by the show runner allows the audience to sympathize with Truman as his free will is stripped away for the sake of a television. Audience members can easily understand Truman’s confusion, breakdowns, rants, and sadness thanks to a stellar performance from Jim Carry and a believable world crafted by director Peter Weir and writer Andrew Niccol.

There are complex layers to The Truman Show, as the film comments on audience complacency, television entertainment, manipulation, artistic integrity and consumerism, just to name a few. A conversation lasting hours could be had on the hidden messages behind The Truman Show; the film leaves a lot to be unpacked, and this complexity allows the film to stay in relevancy for years.

To conclude, The Truman Show is an intriguing, thought provoking, complex film that anyone can enjoy on any level. The Truman Show is creative and inventive and will guarantee provoke an emotional reaction from any audience members.

I give The Truman Show a 10/10.

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