Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: The Truman Show (1998)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Directed by: Peter Weir
Language: English
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 103 minutes

I've been contemplating doing a Throwback Thursday here on Muddy Cult and hopefully this idea works out well. For the Throwback Thursdays, which will not be every Thursday, I will be reaching back into my childhood, review some things I enjoy, and compare the past with the present. First, I'm going to start with a less talked about Jim Carrey gem, The Truman Show.

Truman Burbank is an insurance salesman and adjuster, who lives with his wife in suburbia. His whole life feels like the perfect, ideal old fashion dream that you might see in classic American shows like Leave It to Beaver. Strangely, Truman's life is a television show, but he doesn't know until something seems slightly off to him. Upon finding out, Truman attempts to find the truth and explore outside the world that was created for him.

Little fact about myself, Jim Carrey is one of my favorite comedic actors and there's a very good chance that you'll see my admiration for him in these segments, so I won't go into the back history of how that started. Focusing on the movie, back then and even now, I thought this was a very unique concept. A higher being playing God on someone's life. Of course, there are other movies that execute this concept just as well such as Adaptation. and Stranger Than Fiction. In this movie, Carrey's character Truman has some range for him to play with and show off to audiences who only view him as a comedic actor. Naturally, he's a hilarious guy, but when the script calls for him to delve into dramatic moments of sadness, he nails it like a pro.

There's not much more to say about Carrey's great performance, but the supporting cast deserves credit as well. I always thought the hardest thing to act is playing an actor who is playing a part. It's like actor inception or something. Majority of the cast are simply characters filling in roles of Truman's life like his best friend, wife, parents, and co-workers. Much like television shows, actors whose characters are eliminated can be brought back as other characters. For these actors, I believe they did a fabulous job executing actor inception! Going along with actors playing actors who are playing characters, Truman's first love also does a great job of breaking that imaginary veil of the show and expressing her emotions toward Truman. Lastly, the people of the control room that have set up this life for Truman display a nice variety of personalities about the whole situation. Since they've been doing this before Truman left the womb, they're very used to how the routine goes. Depending on the situation, they can be laid back, proud, and to an extent egotistical about their accomplishment on the show. The most important thing to them is producing an entertaining show that touches people's hearts and you get a few glimpses of that to remind you that this isn't real life, this is a manipulated environment that Truman has been experiencing his whole life.

It's obvious I really enjoy this movie and I just wanted to share this little Jim Carrey gem with you guys. As a film graduate, I think people who are interested in broadcast should check this one out as it shows a bit of the ins and outs of television production. Most think it's very simple to put something like this together, but there is a lot of work involved and people to manage. It's even harder when the show is running 24 hours and commercial free. You have to be dedicated and creative, especially if something doesn't go the direction you had in mind. In short, this is a very entertaining, funny, and warm hearted movie that I think anyone can enjoy.

Rating: 4.5/5

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