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The Truman Show

(8/10)
  • Runtime: 103min.
  • Director:
  • MPAA Rating:
  • Year: 1998

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Current Rating 8.56/10 | 112 Votes

Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is the star of the longest running, most famous television show of all time. He has his own channel. His show is on twenty-four hours a day. The set he works on is so big that it can be seen from space. The revenues for the show rival the per capita income of a small nation. The show's creator, the reclusive Christof (Ed Harris), is one of the most acclaimed media mouguls of his time. In short, The Truman Show is huge, and it is all centered around one man: Truman himself.

The catch?

The catch is that Truman has no idea he's on television. As far as he knows, he's just an insurance salseman in a quite, seemingly perfect seaside town. He never leaves, as the town is on an island of the coast of New York (or so he thinks), and he is terrifyed of even coming close to the water (his father "drowned" when he was 6). He has a perky wife (Laura Linney), who is obsessed with buying the latest commercial kitchen appliances. He has a life-long best friend, Myron, who takes Truman out every night to shoot some golf balls and drink beer. Truman should feel that life is good.

But he doesn't. Truman wants to see the world, but everytime he tries to leave, something horrible happens (or, in the event he catches the producers off guard, the entire transportation system of Seahaven Island breaks down and leaves Truman stranded.) Truman, while dissapointed that he seems doomed to spend his entire life in the same town, doesn't suspect a thing.

Until one day, on his way to work, he comes across a homeless man who turns out to be his father. Before he can say anything, though, his father is carried away by two mysterious people and is never seen again. While the occurance lasts for a few seconds, it is enough to arouse the suspision in Truman, to start to question why all of the people on the island know his name, and why they are on the same routine every day.

Truman begins to plot his escape, still not knowing what is out there, not sure what he will find on the other side of the sea.

Christof, the show's creator and has watched Truman since birth, will stop at nothing to keep Truman on the island, going so far as to thretan Truman's life if he does not give up his quest for the truth.

This is a truely remarkable movie- it boasts teriffic performances from both Jim Carrey and Ed Harris, Carrey especially. This was Carrey's first stab at a true dramatic role, and he pulls it off with flying colors.

While the acting is superb, it is the direction and the story that really drive the movie. For the first fourty minutes of the film, it plays as a real Truman Show episode- all of the camera are hidden in radios, garbage cans, review mirrors, etc. Director Weir does a facinating job in immersing us in the voyerism of The Truman Show.

The Truman Show acts as a sort of modern-day "Network", both being cautionary films about how far television is willing to go for ratings ("Truman" is eriely accurate- released two years before Survivor, it almost seems to have predicted the future of where television is going- right down the creative toilet).

No matter your opinion of Jim Carrey, I can almost garuntee you will love The Truman Show.


Rated PG for language.

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