How’s it going to end?

We’ve become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions. We are tired of pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there’s nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts, no cue cards. It isn’t always Shakespeare, but it’s genuine. It’s a life. – Christof

A modern classic, The Truman Show is a must see (if you haven’t already). If you have seen it, isn’t it about time you watched it again?

At the time of it’s release, I think reality shows were at their zenith. A beautifully sculpted and scripted film from Peter Weir sees Jim Carrey at his very best, acting out a serious role that has some comic moments. Personally, I’m a much bigger fan of Carrey in the likes of this role, as I find his zanier roles much harder to watch.

I used to show a section of this film to my secondary school pupils, leaving them to discuss and ponder the ramifications of Truman’s philosophical discovery. All his life he is living in a finite location, being observed. In many ways, the decisions he made were being made for him. What if, when he takes his steps to his new found freedom, it is merely into a larger confined location? Indeed, are we as free in the decisions we make as we think? How do we know we aren’t merely unwitting actors in an incredibly large play?

(Incidentally, I apologise now to many a teenager who never got over this conundrum – sorry. If it helps, you can either logically deduce by probability that we aren’t in an incredibly large play, or merely live with the fact that we are!)

Why mention this now? The character Lauren / Sylvia wears a badge on her lapel asking a simple question ‘How’s it going to end?’ The other day I quoted Thoreau saying ‘Our life is frittered away by detail’. I think we need to spend much more time asking the big questions, and being able to articulate our vision, before we get sucked into what may be quite pointless actions. Comically, Truman can teach us a lot about life.

You can watch it on lovefilm.com, or if you prefer to get your hands on physical media, then you can purchase it at amazon.co.uk.

 

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