The 1998 film The Truman Show shows the life of Truman Burbank, an ordinary man whose life is turned into a popular TV show without his knowledge. Truman was an orphan adopted by a network for the sole purpose for them to profit from his now public life. From the moment Truman entered the world the public eye was watching.
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Chistof, the producer in charge of the show, created an entire seemingly perfect society for Truman to live in and the public to dream of. In a world with no wants or problems, Truman feels isolated and alone. The network can provide him with a stable job, a beautiful wife, and “friends”, but they cannot provide him with the one thing every human desires, real connection. Truman’s need for real human connection is what leads him to break out of the boxy world he was trapped in hopes of finding something real.
Truman lacks free will to live his life the way he feels he is intended to. With the main point of the program to make profit, his life is generated to display what the producers feel the audience wants to see. In the opening scene, Christof discusses how the public feels connected to Truman and his life because all of his actions and reactions are genuine. As humans, we tend to get caught up in our own everyday struggles. The Truman Show provides to its viewers with a simple world, starring a simple man, simply living his everyday life. The world Truman lives in is even modeled after the 70s to reflect a simpler time. The producer strategically uses bright colors in the city to reflect happiness and comfort. In a lot of ways, Tthe Truman Show provides comfort to those watching by giving them an escape from their everyday lives into a world close to perfection. The producers understand that this is why Tthe Truman Show is successful and triesy to make Truman’s life as seemingly perfect and normal as possible. This need for the viewers to see Truman’s life as a comfort is what leads him to feel trapped in a world where he is technically free, but incapable of living the life he desires.
Throughout the film you see Truman struggle to find his place in a world created for him. Everyone in Truman’s life is an actor casted to play a particular role in his life. Truman is the only one is his society viewing his world as a true reality. His wife, parents, and friends were all cast for the part and are only present in his life because it is their job to do so. As good of actors as they are you cannot act true care and love for someone. Truman feels a disconnect in who he is and what his. This is the message of the movie, that a perfect life is not what leads to happiness, connection and love lead do. Truman holds on to the idea of a girl he knew in high school so strongly because she was the only person in his entire life who was real with him. The producers can give him the best job, the nicest house, and the most beautiful life and it will still not make up for the one thing that cannot be simulated. As the film progresses you see Truman’s desire to escape and find realness grow stronger. The unknown is more appealing than perfect society where nothing is real.
The last scene of the movie embodies the message that real connection is more valuable and worth fighting for. Truman escapes his known world on a boat conquering his biggest fear, the ocean, to try and find a world he fits in. Christof instructs the cameras to keep shooting because this climax of Truman’s life was the highest ratings they have ever received. More people watch this moment in Truman’s life than ever before because it the most relatable moment he has ever had. We find ourselves often trapped in our everyday stuck with the feeling that this is our reality and there is no escape. Seeing Truman, the one who they always looked toward as a comfort, pushing his boundaries to find something real inspires them to do the same. As he approaches the edge his boat runs into a wall showing the box Truman has allows been trapped in symbolizing the boxes of societal pressures everyone has felt. As he walks up the stairs Chistof speaks to him directly for the first time in hopes that he can convince him to stay. Christof represents the voice in our head containing us to not push our boundaries because of the fear of the unknown. Christof warns Truman that the world outside is just a fake as the one he created for him. Although this may be true the real world at least has a chance of finding something real and with living for.
The film The Truman Show leaves it viewers to understand that nothing is perfect even though it may appear so. It shows that having everything you desire, a stable job, a nice house, and a beautiful wife, is not what leads you to happiness. Of course, these comforts make life easy, but happiness route from the people around you. Having people in your life who are they for no reason other than the fact they care for you is something worth fighting for. At the end of the day the unknown is less scary than a perfect fake life.
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