Volume 92, Issue 5

Friday, June 12, 1998

hakuna matata


Film makes tru-man out of Carrey

By Dan Yurman
Gazette Staff

The Truman Show is a reminder to all of us why the movies are truly magical. It is a brilliant, whimsical picture filled with clever satire, great acting and most importantly, a premise beyond anyone's imagination.

While it is meant to be thought-provoking, it is so much more. It is one of those films which, in the tradition of the classics, takes the audience into a fictional world and makes them wish they could join in. It is everything a film should be and everything an audience needs in order to be swept away in amazement.

The Truman Show is a mixture of I Love Lucy and The Twilight Zone. It's the story of Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), an ordinary guy who grows up and resides on a constructed television set without his knowledge. Everyone he comes in contact with is an actor and his life is being constantly broadcast to the outside world via a 24 hour-a-day program called The Truman Show.

People watch him work, sleep, eat, do his yard work, wash his face, take a shower and about everything else an average person might do. The viewers watch him succeed, fail, love, hate and think, while they both sympathize and empathize with him.

For the thirty-some odd years The Truman Show is on the air, Truman's environment is controlled by puppet master extraordinaire Kristoff (Ed Harris), who is perched high above the set, inside (or behind) the moon. When Truman begins to catch onto the fact that something is afoul, his quest for the truth begins and the results are truly magical.

The subtle satire is interwoven into every scene of the picture, which proves both intelligent and fun to realize. For instance, because there are no commercials during the program, the producers make their money through product placement. Many times throughout the film, people are pushing Truman in front of Billboards to incorporate them into the frame.

Of course, if the actors were not absolutely convincing, the story would have fallen apart. The actors rise above and beyond the call of duty. Carrey, who has been waiting to prove to the world that he is not just a physical comedian, shines. He effortlessly touches every rung on the emotional ladder and doesn't miss a step in the process. Keeping pace along this scale is Ed Harris in his portrayal of "the creator" which is both genuine and creepy, as he blurs the line between God and man.

Everything in this film works and every moment of this film is better than the last one. It is a true achievement and a film by which all others this year will be compared.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998