“Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight!”
As the media pushed the boundaries of decency to their very limits, offering up the lives of other people as acceptable viewing fodder, along came The Truman Show.
Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) lives in a picture-perfect world where he is surrounded by nice neighbours, a perfect wife (Laura Linney) and the material trappings of a good job.
What he isn’t aware of, however, is that his every move is being broadcast to millions of viewers who put their own lives on hold as they sit down in front of the television to watch the mundane happenings in his.
Adopted by the company that produces the show, Truman has only ever known the manufactured perfection of Seahaven and appears to be quite content with his lot until he falls for Sylvia (Natascha McElhone).
Like all the other inhabitants of the town, apart from Truman, Sylvia is an actress, but when she starts to feel the same way about him she is swiftly removed from the set and a plausible excuse is concocted so that Truman isn’t suspicious.
When he isn’t allowed to leave the town, alarm bells start ringing and it isn’t long before Truman realises that things are amiss and the only reality he’s ever known is about to be revealed as fake.
This is a truly original and extremely clever film that asks some pertinent questions about the world we live in.
Carrey is wonderfully cast as Truman and is backed up by some great performances in the supporting cast.
Although the film was meant to be a warning about the horrors to which our society would go for reality entertainment, these days, it’s the dream of millions of people.
The TV show Big Brother – which is franchised in 63 different countries and regions – is The Truman Show, except for the fact that the people are willingly involved.
Nearly every reality TV show is some version of The Truman Show, except they cut out all the boring parts. They are still orchestrated, destroy people’s mental health, and are fawned over by hundreds of millions of people.
If The Truman Show was produced today, people would shrug and wonder if it was a promotional video and where in Dubai they would be building the dome. Many parents would write to the studio to ask how much money they could get by allowing their child to be Trumanised. Maybe there’d even be an entire community where every kid was followed without knowing.
Imagine the ratings.
Lauren / Sylvia
Control room director
Philip Baker Hall