The Truman Show Movie Review

Thomas Apel, Print Layout

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It sometimes seems that comedians all have one thing in common: a fear of playing it straight. In almost all of their movies, they resort to the easy path of the character with all the punchlines and no depth, and on the rare occasion that they do tackle a round dynamic role, they often fail miserably, making the character  flat, unlikable, or overly melodramatic. In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey does not merely call this stereotype into question; he completely decimates it, shining as the lead character, Truman Burbank. As Truman, Jim Carrey is able to mold a character that can convey incredibly moving emotions, while also occasionally goofing around, creating a believable, complex, and most importantly, likable character.
The character of Truman Burbank is a unique one. Truman is the star of a world-famous, billion dollar television show, but is not aware of it, which is the show’s entire gimmick. Everyone and everything in Truman’s life has been fake. The town he lives in is a set with thousands of hidden cameras that broadcast every minute of his life to the watching world. Even his parents, wife, and best friend are actors who are paid to be a part of his life. As Truman slowly grows suspicious of his reality, he is tested not only in discovering the truth about his life, but in deciding whether or not to choose it.
Although Carrey’s performance is one highlight of the movie, it would be difficult to argue that the cinematography is anything less than spectacular. In the majority of the movie’s scenes, the audience’s perspective is through one of the show’s hidden cameras. This not only is a subtle way to remind the audience of the artifice and manipulation of the show, but also a creative method of adding excitement and intrigue to the movie.
When all is said and done, what elevates The Truman Show from a great movie to an iconic one is its rich premise, which leaves the audience asking themselves a plethora of questions about life, the media, god, and the human condition. However, its amazing acting performances and cinematography certainly don’t hurt.

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