- Gareth Crook
The Truman Show (1998)
Jim Carrey is an odd one isn’t he. Much loved for his slapstick stylings, I’ve never really warmed to that side of him. The Truman Show is different. Yes there’s Carrey’s silly side, but here it makes perfect sense in his fictional world with every detail dialled up to eleventy-stupid. It’s the sinister underbelly that’s that lights the touch-paper though, it’s ridiculously troubling, taking a baby, putting him on camera, cutting him off from the real world and fabricating a picket fence utopia without his consent or knowledge. It’s the knowledge factor that’s key for Truman, not his lack of, but his thirst for. This is Ed Harris’ world, his character Cristof’s idea of utopia and as Truman grows up, he outgrows the godlike creators vision. Sure there’s love too, a longing for someone, but Truman is an explorer, it’s in his soul and can’t be contained or controlled. It’s a film full of spirit, as well as chuckles and twilight zone drama, but it’s the rooting for the underdog urge that makes me love this so much. Maybe we see ourself here somehow, don’t we all sometimes imagine ourselves as the star in our own show and what is real in our consumer world anyway. “We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented”, but we all know what’s real and what’s fake... well just about. This is a fun film, a simple premise, yet feeling utterly original and as over the top and grand as the world it displays. It’s cinematic to the core, even boasting a Philip Glass score and is probably my favourite Carrey film (although Eternal Sunshine is great). A joyous ride to the end, with genuine heart in mouth moments. “Was nothing real?”... well who knows!