The Truman Show is a 1998 movie directed by Peter Weir, written by New Zealander Andrew Niccol, and starring Jim Carrey. The film chronicles the life of a man who does not know that his entire life is a constructed reality designed for the purpose of a television show. The plot takes many ideas from Philip K. Dick’s 1959 novel Time Out of Joint, as well as the 1960 Twilight Zone episode A World of Difference.
Niccol was due to direct the film until Carrey was signed. It was felt that Carrey’s $12 million salary was too great an investment to leave in the hands of a second-time film director, and Weir was drafted.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
The film is set in a hypothetical town called Seahaven, which is built in an enormous dome, and is dedicated to a continually running television show. All but one of the participants are actors. Only the central character, Truman Burbank (Carrey), is unaware that he lives in an almost solipsistic constructed reality for the entertainment of those outside. The film follows his discovery of his situation and his attempts to escape. Central characters fake friendship to Truman, and in the case of his "wife", bury their real feelings of disgust.
Truman was chosen out of five unwanted babies to be a TV star. Growing up, he wanted to be an explorer, an ambition strongly discouraged to keep him contained within the town of Seahaven, and therefore, unaware of his real surroundings. His best friend is "Marlon", a character played by fictional actor "Louis Coltrane" (Noah Emmerich).
During college, as is shown in a flashback, he meets "Lauren", a character in the show, played by the actress "Sylvia" (Natascha McElhone). Truman falls in love with her, and gets a chance to kiss her. But, before she can explain his situation to him, a man comes and picks her up. He tells Truman that they are moving to Fiji. With Sylvia out of the picture, he resigns to be married to "Meryl" (Laura Linney). Truman does not forget about Sylvia, though. He tries to replicate her face by ripping features of models’ faces out of magazines and putting them together, and has saved the red sweater she wore, which she left behind when she was taken away from him.
Eventually, however, Truman notices little details which lead him to believe that he is being watched, and that the people closest to him are not what they seem. He knows that something is not right, but he isn’t sure what. He discusses leaving with Meryl and Marlon who along with his mother pressure Truman heavily to stay. Along his path to truth and escape Truman encounters obstacles placed in his way, including choreographed traffic jams, inability to book any trips out of town, a "bus breakdown", a "leak at the plant", a long bridge to cross (Truman is afraid of water after witnessing the tragic "death" of his father in a staged boating incident), and an artificially created hurricane-force storm on the "ocean". He finally reaches the edge of the constructed reality and exits via a door in the wall, only after bowing to the audience of millions.
The next day shows a new episode, starting with Truman’s familiar cheerful greeting to his neighbours, and follows Truman driving into work while listening to the radio. The radio begins to relay static and when Truman fiddles with the dials, he picks up a bizarre frequency, on which a man appears to be describing Truman’s every move, including him turning his car left into Lancaster Square. Suddenly, the announcer panics and shouts "He can hear us", and the frequency changes to an ear-splitting whistle for a second (a shot depicts everyone in the town, apart from Truman, wincing in pain and clasping their ears when the whistle comes through on their hidden earpieces). The frequencies quickly changes back to the original radio station, with the announcer feebly explaining that the frequency had picked up a police transmission. Unconvinced, Truman wanders around the square, and the scene becomes eerie as Truman, confused and suspicious, wanders around wondering what is really going on. Instead of going into his office building, he picks a random building and marches towards the elevators. As two panicked security guards rush towards him, the elevator doors open to reveal what appears to be a backstage area, where actors are sitting at a refreshments table, before a camera technician hurriedly places a cardboard elevator backing in place. Deeply confused, Truman asks what is happening but is thrown out of the building for no apparent reason by the security guards. Confused, Truman sits down at an outdoors café and sees a man watching him, who immediately scurries away when he sees that he has been spotted. Following him, Truman steps into the road right in front of an oncoming bus, whose driver appears to have been carefully watching Truman, as he slams on the brakes in time. By this stage, Truman has no idea what is happening, and goes into a shop where Marlon is working, explaining his paranoia and suspicions that he is being followed, or watched. Marlon brushes off Truman’s idea, but agrees to follow him to the deserted bridge for a talk.
That evening, Truman, Meryl, and Truman’s elderly mother are going through old photo albums. When he sees a picture of himself as a child at Mount Rushmore, his mother explains that he slept during the entire journey, and when Truman remarks that the monument looks so small, his mother immediately turns the page to stop him looking at it. Meryl and his mother eventually leave, and Truman flicks through his wedding photos. In the first picture, Truman is smiling, but Meryl looks resigned if not disgusted. At the picture of himself and Meryl kissing at the ceremony, he suddenly notices that in the picture, Meryl is crossing her fingers.
The next day begins with Truman scanning radio frequencies, trying to find the one he came across the previous day. Meryl who is dressed for work as a nurse is about to leave for work, and tells Truman that there was an elevator accident next to the building where he works (where he saw the backstage area) as a poor explanation of what Truman saw. Truman replies "I’ll cross my fingers for you"; Meryl is momentarily caught off-guard, but retains her composure as a professional actress. Determined to find the truth, Truman follows her to the hospital on his bicycle and makes his way through the hallways, where various carefully-arranged incidents attempt to stall him in the corridors. He reaches the operating theatre and peers through a window as the actors pretend to perform surgery on a patient. The "surgeon" tries to appear calm, but blatantly does not know what he is doing, and when he cuts into the patient’s leg, Truman sees that the "leg" is made of metal. In addition, one of the doctors knocks a bedpan onto the floor and the apparentely anaesthetised patient sits up in alarm.
Truman is once again bundled away by a security guard, and is next seen at a travel agency (where he sees a poster for travel insurance depicting a plane being struck by lightning and other terrifying pictures to dissuade travel), trying to book a flight to Fiji. The agent explains that all planes are booked for at least a month, and Truman instead books a coach ticket to Chicago. He boards the coach (filled with stereotypical travellers including nuns and a serviceman in uniform), but the actor playing the bus driver either does not know how to drive the vehicle and accidentally damages the engine, or intentionally ruins the transmission to prevent the bus (and Truman) from leaving Seahaven. The other passengers immediately get off the bus without complaining, leaving Truman alone and despondent.
Back at their house, Meryl arrives home from work and finds Truman sitting in his car on the driveway. Truman, who is carefully watching his rearview mirror, tells her to get in, and astounds her by predicting that in a moment, they will see a lady on a red bike, followed by a man with flowers, and a Volkswagen Beetle with a dented fender. Meryl tries to laugh it off but Truman forces her to remain in the car, and surely enough they see a lady on a red bike, a man with flowers and a dented Beetle. Truman begins to act strangely and says that they are on a continuous loop – they are not actually travelling anywhere, but are just going around the block again and again. Meryl tries to change the subject, and angrily, Truman says he’s leaving. Meryl gives in and tells him to go wherever he wants (knowing that he will never be allowed off the island), but Truman instead locks the car doors, tells Meryl she is coming too, and drives off. While on the road, Truman tells her that he wants to go to Atlantic City, but when he turns the car onto a different road, traffic emerges from nowhere and immediately forms a traffic jam in front of him. Suspicious, Truman reverses and instead decides to go to New Orleans. Turning onto the same road, the cars have magically disappeared. When he reaches the bridge connecting Seahaven to the mainland, his fear of water makes him too scared to drive over the bridge, and when Meryl soothingly suggests they go home, he places her hands on the driving wheel and they hurtle across the bridge. After leaving the bridge, Truman ignores a sign warning of forest fires and plunges the car straight into a hurriedly-prepared fire, which appears to be nothing more than a hasty pyrotechnics display on the tarmac itself. As the car heads towards the edge of the geodesic dome, the producers try one last effort to stop Truman, and fake a reactor leak at the local nuclear power station. Truman is stopped by a police officer who advises them to head back, and when Truman thanks the officer (whom he has never met), the officer replies, "You’re welcome, Truman". Meryl looks nervous and Truman, stunned, jumps out of the car and starts running into the forest, which contains trees planted in a perfect grid. He is followed by men in radiation suits and eventually captured while trying to fend them off. Finally, he is taken back home by two police officers who surprisingly let him off with only a verbal warning.
Truman sits in the kitchen staring into space, and asks Meryl why she wants to have a baby with him, as she clearly does not love him. To change the subject, Meryl offers to make him some cocoa and slips into one of her rehearsed advertising speeches, telling Truman about the cocoa’s country of origin and ingredients. This angers Truman even further and Meryl wildly tells Truman that he’s having a nervous breakdown. She tries to defend herself with a kitchen contraption she had advertised earlier in the movie, but Truman lunges towards her and puts her in a headlock, prompting Meryl to look straight into the nearest camera and scream "Do something!". Truman asks her who she’s talking to and she tries to dismiss the incident. Marlon suddenly appears and Meryl runs towards him, screaming "How can anyone expect me to carry on under these conditions? It’s unprofessional!".
The scene changes to Marlon and Truman at the deserted bridge. Truman, who is indeed on the verge of a breakdown, confides to Marlon his fear that he is losing his mind, and that he no longer understands what is happening in his life. In the next scene, Christof is shown whispering to Marlon through his earpiece what to say to Truman. Unknown to Truman, Marlon’s response that he would never betray Truman, that he would never lie to him, is shown to be a lie. Truman starts to cry, and at this point, Marlon stands him up and turns him towards the road, where a figure is approaching through the mist. As he approaches, he is revealed to be Truman’s father. The scene again changes to Christoff in the directing suite. It becomes clear that although Truman is lost and deeply emotional, the entire sequence is being stage-managed for entertainment, regardless of Truman’s feelings. The scene ends with Truman breaking into tears of joy as he hugs his "father" (an actor), and the staff of the directing suite cheering Christoff’s "creative genius".
!!!Chanclas!!! Neta que son exagerados los primos. !Qué necesidad! Diría Juanga desde CIUDAD JUAREZ. Un cocktail prozac-toloache es suficiente ?o no First Lady? Je, je, je.