Movie Title: The Truman Show
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 1 hr. and 43 min.
Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo
Where did I watch it?: Home
I am home all week with swine flu. I also feel like a dumpster fire, so if these reviews aren’t that great, I apologize.
The Truman Show features Jim Carrey in the title role of Truman Burbank. Truman grew up in the town of Sea Haven and never left. His life has been both blessed and cursed. Truman’s father died in a boating accident that his mother passive aggressively blames him for. At the same time he married Meryl (Laura Linney) whom he loves. He drinks beer and enjoys time with his best friend Marlon (Noah Emmerich) and is at least somewhat successful at selling insurance. The real problem is that Truman doesn’t want any of this. Truman wants to see the world and every time he tries to leave Sea Haven something terrible happens. More than anything, Truman would like to go to Fiji.
That’s when things start to get weird. Technical difficulties or sabotage begin to creep into Truman’s world. He sees and hears things that he shouldn’t. The lies required to cover up these mishaps become more and more elaborate and thus more and more unbelievable. Truman sees through them and plots his escape. The movie is genuinely funny and unpredictable. The ending is fantastic as Truman is confronted by the show’s creator Cristof.
The problem is that none of this is real and Truman is just a character on a TV show. Truman was adopted by a corporation at birth and put into this false reality. Essentially, the world that Truman lives in is just a much kinder and gentler version of North Korea. Truman’s life inside his universe is rigged and raises many ethical questions that are even more pertinent today than when the film was made. Could a corporation legally adopt a child? Corporate personhood has long been an issue in American life and recent Supreme Court decisions have given corporations more rights than ever before. I’m certain it seemed preposterous in 1998, but as corporations continue to push boundaries it doesn’t seem quite so preposterous anymore. Right now, the answer is no. I think the 13th amendment would prevent it and many states require physical personhood to adopt a child, but who knows what the future holds.
The Truman Show is very entertaining and as relevant now as it was when it was released. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: Veronica (2017)