Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Truman Show

Movie Name: The Truman Show
Year of Release: 1998
Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Ed Harris, Holland Taylor, Peter Krause, Paul Giamatti, Adam Tomei, Philip Baker Hall, Harry Shearer, Brian Delate
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis & Review:
Australian director Peter Weir's career continued its momentum during the 90s with the successful features that were "Green Card" and "Fearless". "The Truman Show" turned out to be one of his high profile films, garnering both critical and commercial success - the film was nominated for 3 Oscars and made the list of the best of the year for many publications and critics circles of the year. The film focuses on Truman Burbank, a man in his 30s who lives in a small town, but who has always dreamed to see what lies beyond the boundaries of his small town. Truman is married to Meryl, and leads a quiet and routine life, one that starts being disrupted by incidents that catch his attention, namely lights falling from the sky, strange meteorological events that take place whenever he wants to leave town and so on. We come to realize that Truman's life is in reality a huge reality show, where everyone are actors portraying a role, except for Truman, who has basically been raised on set since he was a child and has no knowledge of what the world is. This comes to a dramatic halt when Truman decides he wants to leave town.
"The Truman Show" was one of Andrew Niccol's first scripts (the other being "Gattaca" which he directed in 1997), and due to the prestige cast and considerable budget, the directing reigns were given to Peter Weir. The film smartly plays on the concept of the "big brother" and how people like to observe others in a voyeuristic fashion. It's very much a parable of people's fascination with television, with the lives of others and power ultimately corrupts everyone. It's also a testament to the tenacity of people's dreams and ambitions, as embodied by the ever chameleon Jim Carrey. The film definitely has the scope and intelligence to embrace the quirkiness at its core, without losing its emotional core, namely Truman's longing to discover the world, and the girl he loved and got away. Jim Carrey, Laura Linney and Ed Harris all create great characters, as does Paul Giamatti who was then still relatively unknown. A good film worth watching!