VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 3 POSTED ON: 7/27/2012
The Truman Show Diabolical But Brilliant! The Truman Show, though funny at points, deals with a serious theme. Like Plato's Allegory of the Cave, this film deals with a similar situation with a modern twist. The film is the epitome of America's obsession with reality television. The film was released when shows like Survivor and Trading Spaces were conquering the airwaves. How far could reality TV. actually get? The Truman Show, undoubtedly, would be the result. The film deals with Truman, a man that was abandoned at birth and was adopted by a television corporation. His life was turned into a TV show as he grew up in an artificial town known as Seahaven. Its creator is Christof, who oversees the day to day pseudo-reality of Truman's life. In many ways, he represents the ultimate modern man. He calls himself the creator, but unlike God, his creation is all artificial. The entire TV show revolves around Truman, and the only way to make this possible is to have absolute control of Truman's surroundings. This not only includes the town in which he lives, but the people he comes in contact with and even the weather itself is manipulated to fit the desires of the shows producers, depending on the mood they want to set for a specific episode. The cost to obtain high ratings comes at a heavy price - Truman's freedom. From the moment of his birth, his life was already decided before him. Everything from his job, his wife and even his father's death, was all scripted. He doesn't even have the freedom to choose to be with the one's he loves most. In the film, he falls in love with Sylvia, who at the time was playing her role as Lauren. As time passes, he tries to seek her out, and when he finally does, they meet secretly in a beach where Sylvia tries to tell Truman that his life is a TV show, but before the message was able to sink in, Sylvia was taken by another cast member to keep her from revealing the truth. Off the show, Sylvia continues to fight the producers of the show by making phone calls, persuading them of the immoral and dehumanizing effects of the show. Truman's longing for Sylvia was his ticket to freedom. During the course of time, since his separation from Sylvia, Truman begins to piece together cut-outs of magazines by taking eyes, mouths, noses, ears and hair from different models to create the image of Sylvia's face. Explicitly, this image represents his longing and love for Sylvia. Implicitly, however, the face he created is the face of freedom. In a sense, Sylvia, for Truman, becomes Lady Liberty. Like immigrants arriving on Ellis Island, the first face Truman would see once he is free from his bondage, would be the face of his Lady Liberty, Sylvia, who at the end of film rushes to greet him into the real world. Truman's main journey in the film is the discovery of truth. Similar to Plato's Allegory of the Cave, Truman must search beyond his surroundings and day to day routines to discover the true nature of his identity. These people and surroundings he comes in contact with constitute his own shadows. These shadows are his world of ordinary things, but if he is to discover the truth of the real world, he must step beyond his own cave into the natural light. It is man's curious nature which leads him to wonderment. One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Truman asks Christof "W as nothing real?" Christof tells Truman "You were real." Truman was the only one in Seahaven who was authentic. This, thus, brings us to the notion of authenticity and inauthenticity. In many ways, Christof was right; Truman was the only real person (i.e. authentic). Even Christof himself was not living an authentic life. He had fooled himself into thinking that he was some type of god who can control people's lives. Truman desires freedom so much that he yells out for Christof: "If you want to stop me, you 'll have to kill me!" As Truman fights for his life amidst the raging storm, an employee implores Christof to cease the storm. He tells him "You're going to kill him in front of a live audience!" To this Christof indifferently responds, "He was born before a live audience." Christof has played the role of God so long that he lost his own authenticity and picked up an artificial one. Another similar and interesting character is Meryl, the actress that plays Truman's wife. Not only is she a puppet for Christof, but she sells her body for higher ratings. She tries to persuade Truman to have a child with her which would undoubtedly have the same fate as his father. There's no doubt that Meryl would have received a great bonus if she were able to conceive a child on live television. The moral applications to this would be absurd. The meaning of sex would be reduced for the sake of higher ratings. In many ways, this is more implicitly degrading than pornography. When Truman refuses to have a child, and Meryl leaves the show, the producers are forced to hire a new actress to play the role of Truman's love interest. It almost sounds like they're hiring a prostitute with an acting degree. All this trouble for the sake of becoming the first television show to feature the very first live conception. At the movies end, Christof, in an attempt to persuade Truman to stay, tells him that the world out there is the sick world. He tells him that by staying here in this artificial world he can provide safety. Ultimately, however, Christof cannot control human freedom. He may have had eyes throughout the entire set, but as Truman so emotionally put it: "You've never had a camera inside my head." Truman's desire to be free and authentic leads him to say those famous words which put an end to his inauthentic career: "In case I don't see you, good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night." For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: The Truman Show - 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!
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