What an absolute high it is to watch a film that’s so completely unique. This is the feeling I get every time I see The Truman Show, Peter Weir’s satirical look at the pitfalls of reality television. Everything that happens to Truman (Jim Carrey), each new moment in his life, is like a revelation, a reminder of what film can be when approached with imagination and creativity.
The key to understanding the appeal of The Truman Show is to know its director. From his earliest films, such as Picnic at Hanging Rock to recent endeavors like Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Peter Weir has tackled vast, extraordinary stories. Yet, despite their enormous scope, never once has he allowed any of his film’s grand events to overshadow it's characters, and The Truman Show is no exception. At first, we’re drawn into the film by the novelty of Truman’s world, which features a saccharine-sweet community surrounded on all sides by malfunctioning equipment, incessantly happy neighbors and some not-so subtle product placements. By the time the film ends, however, we find that our attention was given not so much to the spectacle of this sanitized television environment, but the battle of wills that developed between Truman and the show’s creator, Christof (Ed Harris). It's in the clashing of these two personalities that the heart of this story lies; everything else is just window-dressing.
While Jim Carrey’s performance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind may be his best, I have to say that his turn in The Truman Show is my favorite. I smiled throughout this movie, and I’m smiling now just thinking about it.
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