By Hugh Brown
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – By the late 1990s, Jim Carrey had cemented his position as one of Hollywood’s funniest actors. It was surprising when he broke typecast and starred in 1995’s “The Truman Show.”
The Truman show is about Truman Burbank, the star of a reality show. The twist is that Truman has no idea he’s on TV; all of the cameras recording him are hidden. And the show airs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“The Truman Show” is a fantastic movie. It’s hard to even say what makes it so entertaining. Jim Carrey lives in such a perfect world. Hilariously filled with lame actors working as extras and cheesy product placement, the world feels like a sitcom from the 1950s. Truman is only exposed to paid actors, so he has been raised to act like a mild-mannered man from that era. He even begins everyday with telling his neighbors “Good morning! And in case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight.” Truly great sitcom cheesiness.
The supporting cast is fairly remarkable; Laura Linney plays Truman’s wife, Ed Harris plays a producer to the show who has overseen production since Truman’s birth, and Noah Emmerich stars as Truman’s best friend.
The film features soundtrack pieces from Philip Glass and they sound amazing. They make scenes tense and really enhance the film instead of taking away from it. Some films today have an over-reliance on loud, distracting music just to make a scene feel more intense. This film uses music as a background tool instead of letting it take the spotlight.
The film has had a lot of studies and research done on it. Some commentators have found religious comparisons in the plot. Some psychologists have seen patients with symptoms of believing their life is staged or that they are constantly being watched with cameras by an audience. This is known as the “Truman Show Syndrome.”
The Truman show was a staple of late-90s blockbusters. It is worth a watch. It’s hard to even explain why; it’s just a quirky film that makes you feel good.
Watch “The Truman Show” on Netflix now.