Saturday, 6 November 2010

Film Review - The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show, directed by Peter Weir and written by Andrew Niccol.

At the time of it's release The Truman Show was a welcomed break from Hollywoods typical films as the concept was refreshingly different.
It is about a man whose whole life is secretly recorded on television inside a giant studio dome .

His whole life is manipulated and influenced by the director of the show. The director could be thought of as God in the Truman show, as he is in control of everything, from the events of the day to what the weather is going to be like. Whether it be a major car accident or a blizzard. Not that that necessarily happens in the film, but technically it could as the director has that much power over Truman.

The director controls Truman's fears to keep him from traveling out of the town to the edge of the dome. There were subconscious signs everywhere telling him to stay in this little town and not to explore the rest of the world. For example, his fear of the water which kept kept him at bay, and traffic jams that magically appeared everywhere else. His fear of the the water was a pre-planned with this staged accident as a child. Then there were travel posters saying how dangerous it is to fly. They were done just like posters that say the dangers of smoking or drink driving. This is probably the most humorous part of the film as these posters were in a travel agents.

The show also acts as a means for advertising products to the viewers of the show. They used obvious sales techniques to grab the viewers attention to products. It is blatantly obvious in this film still, where the actress (within the film) playing Truman's wife is showing off this new type of knife.

So this film was about one mans discovery to find the truth, in a simulated world. Its also questioning why we for some reason like to watch real people in staged situations in reality TV. The irony of it all is that in the film we are just watching one persons staged life.

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