Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Truman Show (1998)


“Was nothing real?”
“You were real. That's what made you so good to watch...”

            In this day and age so many young people would love to be social media famous. Wanting to become social media famous I feel is becoming more popular than wanting to be a movie star or a singer.  If YouTube counts as social media look at how insanely popular that has become. I think we have all imagined, myself included at times, what it would be like to be adored by people on the Internet and to know our voices are being heard and taken to heart by thousands or millions of fans. Being a vlogger is a job we all dream of having, getting paid to have fun and basically sit around in our houses in our PJs most of the time and talking to just a camera instead of other human beings (fellow introverts of the world unite!). Despite there being tons of vloggers on so many subjects and topics only a handful of them are truly Internet celebrities. Several of these popular vloggers are now coming into the mainstream world: Grace Helbig is getting her own show on E! and wrote a book (stop reading this, go buy her book Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown Up and read it right now! It will be your favorite book ever), Mamrie Hart has a book coming out in May, Hannah Hart wrote a book, Helbig and the Harts made a movie (Camp Takota, watch it on Netflix), Flula Borg is in Pitch Perfect 2, Colleen Ballinger aka Miranda Sings is writing a book, Shane Dawson wrote a book and will be at Book Con (so will Mamrie Hart and I am going!), etc. Again, who does not dream of making videos, becoming an Internet celebrity, and possibly even mainstream famous? Do not lie to yourself. I for one am definitely not.
            So let’s take that idea of people putting their lives on YouTube and apply it to a scenario where someone’s entire life was being filmed and watched all over the world. If you are a Grace Helbig fan, imagine the person’s life is like Grace’s friDIARY videos where she shows clips of what she did during the week. Only in this scenario the show is not a clip show like friDIARY the person is literally watched twenty-four hours a day seven days a week on broadcasted TV. This seemingly average, nice person’s life is filmed at every step they take and every word they utter. The person also has had no control over their destiny it has all been done for him by the control of one person. What I have just described is the basic story of the movie The Truman Show.
            Truman Burbank (Jim Carey) has lived his life in supreme blitz in a small picturesque town near the ocean. He is happily married to a high school sweetheart and has a best friend he has known since childhood. He has never had a worry in his entire thirty years on earth.
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            Unbeknownst to Truman his ideal worry free life has been a set up since before his birth. His entire life has been orchestrated by a man named Christof (Ed Harris). The “town” in which Truman lives in is actually the biggest studio in the world with cameras in literally every nook and cranny throughout the town. All the people in the fake town are actors including Truman’s own mother, friend, and wife. Because of Christof the entire world loves Truman. And also because of Christof, Truman has been entirely in the dark all his life.
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            One day Truman begins to notice things he has never noticed before and begins to question those things. He becomes spontaneous and veers off of his normal dictated path. He desperately wants to go to Fiji because he believes the girl he truly loved in high school had been taken there by her father. The girl was an actress and she tried to tell Truman the truth and she was taken away. Christof has everyone block Truman’s way from going any further than he can within the studio.
            Truman’s perfect world and the perfect world Christof and the TV execs had created begins to crumble the more he pushes for his freedom. Eventually the show comes to a close when Truman literally finds the exit he was looking for.
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            My favorite part of this movie was the ending. The quote I posted above I believe sums up the story. Truman himself may not have felt like a real person in the end but he was real to millions of people all over the world. He was there for them; he made their lives a little brighter and a litter happier.  The world Truman lived in may not have been real but there was no denying he was his own person he was the only thing that was real in a fake world. He created a power to connect people.
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            I thought The Truman Show was amazing. This movie was made in 1998 before reality TV took off. Reality shows that turned average people into “celebrities” were not even a major thing yet. This was a time before social media like Twitter and Tumblr and even before DVRs. The Truman Show, the actual show itself, united a world just through paper media and live TV. Those aspects of the movie are what made The Truman Show amazing to me. I could never imagine my face splashed all over the world even with me knowing let alone not knowing. I do not even have my own photo as my icon for this blog or my Twitter and Tumblr accounts! (You guys don’t need to know what I look like in order to read my posts). The Truman Show also freaked me out a bit because it is voyeurism at its finest. My brother made me watch The Truman Show while he was home from school. I am glad he chose this movie for us to watch and experience together. It really made me and my brother take a step back and think about how connected to the world we are today. It is scary when you come to that realization. I feel all kids today need to watch this movie it had a good message and a good story. The Truman Show is a movie I highly recommend seeing especially if you are like me and watch YouTubers and like to ponder how freaky it would be to have your whole life filmed. 
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