The Hidden Meaning in The Truman Show – Earthling Cinema

directed by Peter Weir

What if an alien in the future stumbled upon Peter Weir’s The Truman Show? Welcome to Earthling Cinema, where we examine the last remaining artifacts of a once-proud culture and try to understand what human lives were like before their planet was destroyed. I’m your host, Garyx Wormuloid.

This week’s film:
The Truman Show (1991)
Stars: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Natasha McElhone, Ed Harris
Director: Peter Weir
Production Co: Scott Rudin Productions

Written by: AJ Unitas and Kevin Winzer
Directed by: Jared Bauer
Analysis by: Kevin Winzer
Starring: Mark Schroeder (https://twitter.com/mark_schroeder)
Edited by: Ryan Hailey (http://www.ryanhaileydotcom.com/)
Original Music by: David Krystal (http://www.davidkrystalmusic.com)
Opening Animation by: Danny Rapaport
Produced by: Jacob S. Salamon and Emily Dunbar

The Hidden Meaning in The Truman Show – Earthling Cinema

Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I’m your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is The Truman Show, starring stand up turned impressionist turned comedic actor turned dramatic actor turned comedic actor turned nihilist, Slim Carrey.

The film follows loveable human male, Truman Burbank, who knows a thing or two about sensible sweaters. What he doesn’t know is that he’s actually on a reality show, cause who needs writers? Line! His town is a movie set, and keeping with Hollywood tradition, everyone is fake. Freaking up this freak show is tortured artist Christoffopher, tortured because he wears a beret. To ensure Truman doesn’t get any crazy ideas, like swimming, he makes Truman’s dad drink too much.

Flash forward to the college years season where Truman falls for a sexy librarian actress, and after some flirtatious running, she tells him those three little words every guy wants to hear: everything’s a lie. Before Truman can say, “Yeah, I love you too,” production intervenes and whisks her away to the H20 company, Fiji. Inconsolable beyond words, Truman marries the next person he sees.

But Truman can’t get her out of his head, so Christoffer tries Birdman-ing him and it only makes things worse—I’m not really sure how it could have helped. Truman starts noticing that his dead dad looks a lot like the town’s only homeless guy, and more alarmingly, that someone has cancelled his Sirius XM. Before you can say, “Ba ba boey,” Truman’s skipping town, until Chrisoffpher pulls the old “there’s been a nuclear explosion, so this one road is closed” trick. And like all my family road trips, it ends in divorce.

So Truman does his best Saddam impression and hides. When the network can’t find him, they start a humanhunt, cut transmission, and air reruns of “Technical Difficulties.” Christopher loses his ship, but immediately finds Truman on it. He makes it rain, if you catch my drift.

Since HBO still holds the rights to violent death, they stop the storm and Truman breaks the fourth wall. Truman tries to punch his way through for a hot sec, but gives up and goes for the fire exit instead. But Christoffer has another trick up his sleeve: namely, a Samsung Galaxy Note. He fires up the P.A. system that’s been there the whole time and asks Truman back for 6 more seasons and a movie. But Truman’s agents are sharks, and that’ just the nature of the ‘biz.’

The Truman Show begs the question, “To what extent are we governed by some unseen, all-powerful force,” otherwise known as Disney’s The Force. For Truman, it’s the latter, a state referred to as theological determinism, but why you gotta put a label on things? Every aspect of Truman’s life, from what he eats and wears is controlled by Christoffer. In fact, Christoffpher’s name is a variation on “Christ.” As in Jesus Christ. Yeah, that Christ. Through most of the film, Truman struggles to free himself from this system and make his own choices, only to find Christoffpher’s flash mob, poised and ready to dance.

The film frames this age-old debate in a 20th century context, when most human lives were controlled by the media, instead of the chips inside their brains. Truman is literally owned by a studio, well, until the rights revert back to Marvel. His last name, “Burbank,” is a nod to the Californian city where the Warner Bros used to do keg stands. As we watch Truman get ushered from product to product by subtle advertising, we can’t help but notice the same attempts by the media to groom our decisions. Not that I would ever tell you to buy Killmo’s Eyebrow Wax, on sale now for 6000 glarbotrons. I just wouldn’t.

Truman’s journey to discover the truth resembles the thought experiment The Allegory of the Cave, by Plate o’ Spaghetti. The experiment imagines humans chained to a wall, only knowing their shadows, more popularly known as a sex dungeon. Truman’s worldview is similarly constrained—his “cave” is Seahaven; the actors are his “shadows”; and his hair is just perfect. Plate o’s supposed that once a prisoner ditched the cave, he would prefer the outside world to the dark. Christof disagrees.

But as the film climaxes, Truman calls him, “a liar liar.” His perseverance to retire from showbiz is reminiscent of Captain Ahab’s classic struggle with Moby Penis. Symbolically representing the struggle between mankind and God, the novel ends in a good old-fashioned drowning, whereas Truman’s ends in breathing. The final frames suggest that humans had the will to control their own destiny, which was true, until President Kylie Jenner found out about it.

For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. In case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good solstice, and good night!

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