The Truman Show (1998) Movie Review

When reality bites Truman’s ass…

Meet Truman Burbank, a happy-go-lucky insurance executive who lives with his wife Meryl in a small town called Seahaven. He is a man of routine where you will find him at work, at home with his wife or maybe playing golf with his friend. Life is good for Truman that is until series of ‘weird’ incidents occur: a light projector falls from the sky, the reappearance of his estranged father or the strange messages his car’s radio pick up. What the heck is going on?

I have to say The Truman Show surprises me and made me hate myself because I waited so long to see it. Released in 1998, The Truman Show is like a small fish swimming in a big pond of movies. I said this because the movie is released in the same year with some of Hollywood giants, such as Shakespeare in Love, Life Is Beautiful and Saving Private Ryan. However, this may come as a delightful surprise that The Truman Show managed to snatch both Oscars and Golden Globe awards nominations.

If I want to sound smart, I would say that The Truman Show can be referred as a study of religious allegory, metaphilosophy or a satire on our obsession of ‘reality shows’ (although what reality shows were playing back in 98?). But, I am not obnoxious, so I will simplified my take on the movie. First, I loved the element of surprise in the movie. Truman is your regular fella doing what he is supposed to do and then BAM! bricks fall, curtains open and life is a lie. The movie’s pace is very smooth and well-placed. Truman’s anguish to find the “meaning of life” will also make anyone to root for him. Second, the film provokes sensitive questions related to religion and sociopolitical views which I find interesting. In the movie, you will meet the man behind the camera, let’s called him God for this review sake, who created a world for Truman. He believes the world he created is ‘safer’ and ‘better’ for everyone, especially Truman. But then we learned that even when things look perfect doesn’t mean that humans aren’t curious about the outside world. Because trust me people, we will be tempted! (I think I just made Adam and Eve’s joke there…)

Directed by visionary Australian director Peter Weir and written by Andrew Niccol, The Truman Show is beautifully crafted with some thought-provoking questions I have never found in movies before. Also without a doubt this is Jim Carrey’s best work to date (I want to say his best work ever…) where he gave a heart-wrenching performance as Truman Burbank. The movie also includes awesome supporting casts from Laura Linney as Meryl, Noah Emmerich as Marlon and Natascha McElhone as Sylvia.

The ending made me want to sit in a corner and ponder upon life’s mysterious questions. Needless to say, it had profound effect on me and maybe it will have the same effect on you too.

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5 thoughts on “The Truman Show (1998) Movie Review

  1. Annisa

    I watched the Truman Show when it first came out just for the sake of Jim Carrey, expecting a funny movie. What I got was something else entirely, but it was mind-blowing. This movie is amazing. I love how Truman’s character felt that somehow there’s gotta be more to life, and he follows his gut instincts to find out what it is.

    Another movie I enjoyed that has a similar premise of ‘something too perfect is too good to be true’ is The Stepford Wives.

    Great post Mesh, keep ’em coming 🙂

  2. 13mesh

    That’s exactly how I feel about the movie. Thank you for the kind words, Ms Editor. I loved The Stepford Wives too, but if you want to watch these kind of movie, try to see Pleasantville 🙂

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