Why The Truman Show Shouldn’t Go On: An Analysis of the Film with Jim Carrey? The Truman Show: meaning of the film, the plot, the essence & explanation of the ending, similar films
Genre: drama, comedy
Year of production: 1998
Directed by: Peter Weir
Actors: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich
tagline: “He’s on air and doesn’t even know…”
The Truman Show is definitely a cult film. At one time, he was perceived in a good way as absurd, comical and even touching. However, the problems revealed in this picture have nothing to do with something funny. The meaning of the film “The Truman Show” (The Truman Show) is deeper than it seems at first glance. This is a psychological and philosophical parable about the difficulties of overcoming those programs that we are all stuffed with from birth.
What is the movie about
Brief description of the content of the film “The Truman Show”. The protagonist of the picture, Truman Burbank, works as an insurance agent and lives the life of an ordinary person.
He has no idea that he is the hero of a cult show and the whole world is watching his life. The city of Sihewen, where Truman lives, doesn’t really exist – it’s just beautiful scenery. Truman’s neighbors are not real people, but actors who play their parts.
Jim Carrey played the lead role of Truman Burbank. Frame from the film.
Such a life “behind the glass” was arranged for Truman by Christoph, an executive producer who can even influence the weather with the help of special effects.
Gradually, Truman begins to get bored with his prosperous life and he wants to change it. In particular, he really wants to leave Sihewen.
However, Christophe’s skillful manipulations are doing their job: having been on the verge of death several times, Truman finally realizes that it is better for him to really not go anywhere.
One day, Truman meets a girl named Sylvia. Mutual sympathy develops into love, but Christoph appointed another woman, Meryl, as Truman’s wife. Sylvia, knowing full well that their relationship is impossible, hints to him that he is under an artificially created dome and his whole world is an illusion. After that, Christoph removes her from the project, but Truman, realizing the horror of her words, begins to seriously rebel …
Towards the end, Truman manages to trick the film crew and escape. He boards the yacht and heads for the edge of the dome. At this moment, Christophe appears on the scene and, having caused a strong storm on the sea, tries to stop his ward.
Truman, having survived the storm, tries to fight his way through the wall of the dome. He sees the door, approaches it and wants to leave, but at that moment Christophe gets in touch with him.
He informs Truman that he is now live and is being watched by millions of viewers. Christoph tries to warn him that nothing good awaits him behind the dome and offers to stay: here he is a “star”, nothing threatens him here.
The role of Sylvia was played by Natasha McElhone. Frame from the film.
However, Truman had already made up his mind. Having picturesquely said goodbye to the audience, he leaves the show and meets with his beloved, who has been waiting for him all this time.
The explanation for the ending looks like this: despite the fact that the creators of the show tried to control Truman, they failed to completely subdue him. Truman decided to live not as written in the script, but as he sees fit.
Truman’s conversation with Christoph can be interpreted as a dialogue with God. The point is that a person always has a choice – to go with the flow or take responsibility for his life.
The picture well shows how a utopian paradise with the acquisition of knowledge turns into a dystopian hell. There is no expulsion from paradise: the right to live independently must be won by your own willpower.
The meaning of the ending of the film “The Truman Show” is that outside the illusory world, reality awaits him – far from always happy, but real.
Also, the finale of the picture can be considered as a metaphor for growing up. Truman’s path is a symbolic path for each of us from blissful childhood through the hell of teenage rebellion to adulthood.
The meaning of the film
We can say that “The Truman Show” is a prophetic tape: after all, the example of the protagonist “highlighted” that terrible reality that humanity can bring itself to. The essence of horror is not even in what is happening to Truman, but in the world around us, to the realities of which we are moving by leaps and bounds.
The director presented us his view of Christianity. This can be seen even in the names of the characters. Interesting in this context is the name Christoph (in their analysis, viewers looking for a hidden meaning in the picture noticed a play on words: the name Christof can be considered as “Christ off”, that is, “false God”, and Truman as “True Man”, i.e., “real person”).
The main idea looks like this: if God exists, then a person has only the illusion of choice and only a small chance to make decisions on his own. God (if you look at him from this angle) is a puppeteer who decides what will happen to us and when. That is, our entire reality is orchestrated in advance and little depends on us.
However, this topic is touched upon indirectly in the film “The Truman Show”: the main attention is still paid to the human factor.
Why does Truman, the only real person in town, look as unnatural as possible? Against the background of all the actors involved in the show, it is he who looks like a clichéd hero of a cheap sitcom. Initially, we can assume that this is a typical Jim Carrey with his typical antics. However, it is not. Alone with himself, Truman is completely different – deep, worried and very vulnerable.
The fact is that, living day after day, we do not think about what influences us and what force shapes us. It can be the expectation of society, friends, parents and loved ones. Do we ask ourselves what are our sincere desires and what are imposed by someone else? Do we do this because we want to, or because we are expected to?
Laura Linney played the role of Meryl Burbank. Frame from the film.
Each person goes through a similar cut by environmental factors. In this case, we have another demonstration that Truman is the quintessence of his world. For a long time he was in an environment of artificial people who played their roles, spoke exclusively according to the script and set strict, specific limits for him. So he absolutely unconsciously played out the role assigned to him, copying the behavior model of those who surrounded him.
It is human nature to seek understanding and recognition of the environment. This is not something bad – the only question is what methods are used to achieve the goal and what sacrifices we are ready to make.
Truman went with the flow for many years and did what he was expected to do. How did it happen that for thirty years he did not suspect that he was living in a fictional universe? If at least for a second we think about what we see around us and what we ourselves are ready to turn a blind eye to on a daily basis, the inattention of the protagonist of The Truman Show will no longer seem so critical. And if in his world everything is concentrated on one task (the formation of a specific reality for one person), then we have much less excuses not to see the same thing around us.
We, for various reasons – and first of all, fear – do not want to notice the obvious. We do not want to admit that things familiar to us may turn out to be just an illusion, that we tend to take the role of an outside observer in the reality that is created by the outside world.
Subconsciously, a person always closes himself from what can cause him emotional harm. We always want to believe that we cannot be wrong in our own lives, even if we have to deceive ourselves every day.
Noah Emmerich as Marlon. Frame from the film.
The essence of the film “The Truman Show” is that every person experiences events that, like an annoying alarm clock on early Monday morning, calls to wake up, open your eyes and look at everything objectively, no matter how painful it may be. And it’s up to us to choose how we act.
When Truman’s universe began to burst at the seams, he did not ignore the loud signal of this “alarm clock”. Rejecting the position “I’m in the house”, he decided to get to the bottom of the truth.
Symbolically, the path of the protagonist of the film “The Truman Show” begins with the fall of an illuminating lantern with the name “Sirius” (a guiding star for travelers). Later, on the way to freedom, he, like Pinocchio, who pierced the painted hearth with his nose, pierced the wall of the surrounding dome with the bow of his boat. But how do we act all our lives? ..
The Truman Show is not meant to be taken literally. This movie is about each of us. The “dome”, under which Truman was for a long time, symbolizes a kind of “cap” hanging over a person from his very birth. It is made up of the character and will of the parents, public morality, the way of life and many other things.
The point is that a person becomes real, alive only when he begins to notice the influence of all these “pre-installed” programs on his life and tries to break them, overcome them, start living his own life, realize his true will.
The feeling that everyone is looking at you and the world revolves around you is usually characteristic of people who are unrealized, insecure, living according to the canons imposed by circumstances.
The protagonist of the film “The Truman Show” sincerely wants to free himself from the show. That is, to get rid of the shackles of other people’s judgments, to stop moving in a vicious circle of stereotypical and predictable behavioral reactions.
The conversation with Christoph in the finale can also be understood as Truman’s internal dialogue, as a moment of personal decision, choice. Christoph is not necessarily God. It can also symbolize one of our selves.
A person is created by all the circumstances around him. When he is able to say “no” to them and begin to live his life, he is liberated inwardly. That is, in fact, he gets rid of his own fears, which form the basis of his “dome”.
TV viewers watching Truman in the film can be perceived as the personification of philistine forces who always want to keep as many human souls as possible under the supervision of their “all-seeing eye”. This allows them to strengthen their positions. The thing is that society (one has only to remember, for example, Petrusha Verkhovensky’s monologue from Dostoevsky’s “Demons”) benefits from convenient, predictable, controllable people. “White Ravens” are not loved – roughly speaking, a person who has lived all his life in a mining town, but who wants to become a musician or a jeweler, is ridiculed and devalued.
Becoming yourself, recognizing and realizing your true desires is always difficult. Most likely, the main idea of the film “The Truman Show” is precisely this.
Frame from the film.
Here are movies similar to The Truman Show in meaning:
- “Pleasantville” (USA, 1998). The infantile young man David is a fan of the Pleasantville show, which takes place in the 50s. One day he finds himself on the other side of the screen;
- “Changing reality” (USA, 2011). The protagonist learns that the reality in which he is located was artificially created and special agents strictly monitor the execution of this scenario. This does not suit him and he starts a fight;
- “Matrix” (USA, Australia, 1990). The protagonist learns the horrific truth about the reality in which he lives.
The Truman Show: A Cleverly Disguised Tragedy