The Truman Show ★★★★

r/LetterboxdOfficial Film Club - 005 - New Year, Fresh Start

Every time I watch The Truman Show, I'm fascinated by the concept of the movie, impressed by the comedy, and awestruck at how ahead of its time it was.

The concept of The Truman Show, where a man's entire life is a reality TV show unbeknownst to him, is such a meaty premise for the movie. The film was released in 1998. By my count, that was a few years before reality television really broke out into a nationwide phenomenon. Yet, Peter Weir's film depicts a world that is entirely captivated by unscripted television.

The Truman Show satirizes product placement to great comedic effect. Whether it's Truman's wife Meryl (Laura Linney) finding ways to spout ad copy into the camera or his best friend Marlon (Noah Emmerich) holding a beer can in front of the camera, it's always good for a laugh. However, it's the way that the goofy product placement scenes highlight the skewed world in which Truman lives that makes the movie stand out.

Truman's world is designed entirely for him and that is an endlessly fascinating concept to me. The way the movie alternates between Truman and the production control room overseeing his life adds a unique creator/creation dynamic to the movie. Cristof (Ed Harris) is Truman's God, guiding his creation and preventing him from pursuing his own life. This makes The Truman Show a unique story of free will and what it takes to achieve happiness.

By the end of the movie, we see Truman entering a new stage of his life. It always leads me to think about what's next for the character. This is a movie that I would have loved to see a sequel to. If only because I don't see how Truman can lead a fulfilling life after rh movie's credits roll. But discussing that and thinking about it is part of the fun of The Truman Show.