The Truman Show & The Search for Reality

*be warned, there are major spoilers ahead*


Peter Weir’s The Truman Show is about a man, Truman, who lived his life on a movie set without knowing it —believing that his manufactured reality is the truth. His life serves the purpose of giving people in the real world the ability to watch someone who isn’t acting, but has a pure genuineness about them, someone that is truly authentic. Truman is soon to find out that his reality isn’t real at all, but is just a movie set where everyone on it is just an act, while he has no idea. Truman chose to leave the set because, although the set was incredibly safe and didn’t have ordinary problems, Truman valued a genuine and real life. Truman knew that life would be hard in the real world, but still decided to leave his manufactured reality for a better, more authentic way of living.

With this, the director of The Truman Show, Peter Weir,  truly captures the beauty of reality and the world that we seem to not appreciate, showing us the true beauty of storytelling and film.

Truman’s Reality

Truman lives in a fake reality, but nothing about him is fake. He is the only genuine and authentic one in his own world. Truman saw that his world was crumbling apart and sought out the truth. He realized everything said, done, or told to him by others wasn’t the truth, was to trick him, to make him believe that this reality made for him was the actual reality of the world. The man who created this world for Truman is Christof and he, in my opinion, is evil for shunning the true light of the world. No matter how ugly it might be, it is just as beautiful.

Christof’s creation of this manufactured reality for Truman couldn’t last. Our human nature compels us to be curious, to want more, to know the truth. Truman was okay with his cage until he knew it was a cage. Truman went borderline insane when Meryl wouldn’t give into Truman’s struggle, skepticism, and hostility towards others for the truth. Christof’s plan could only work so well for so long. It was flawed to begin with; the manufactured reality was all fake, but Truman wasn’t. Truman’s genuine nature and authenticity led him to find out he was on a set.

Christof’s attempt to keep Truman on set through intimidation and violence are blatant examples of manipulation and scarcity of power. He believed that Truman liked his cage, and that he would stay. Even in the end, Christof tried to make Truman believe that he was better off staying. He told Truman, “You’re the star…Listen to me Truman there is no more truth out there that there is in the world I created for you. The same lies. The same deceit. But, in my world you have nothing to fear”. Truman still left because he was the real truth, not a deceitful truth filled with even more deceitful lies. Truman’s persistence to leave his cage is the most authentic result Christof could have ever gotten, anything else would have defeated the purpose of The Truman Show.

The Search for Reality

Truman’s search for the truth, for reality, for a better understanding of what was happening around him has to be the most beautiful storytelling of human curiosity. If Truman had stayed in his cage of reality, he wouldn’t be able to be this genuine and authentic man. Sylvia, a girl Truman loved, being taken away from the set pushes Truman to look for the truth and to find her, to be happy. If Christof had managed to keep Truman on set, he would no longer be real, his purpose of genuine entertainment would be lost. He would know everything and no longer act the way he wanted to or do the things he liked. Truman’s search for reality stemmed from his authenticity, if he wasn’t truly authentic he would have never left. His leaving is the only way for the story to end because he would no longer be authentic if he didn’t leave, defeating Christof’s purpose. Christof had to know that this is how it would end because if he didn’t, his entire vision was lost and flawed.

Truman is the embodiment of our curiosity and authenticity to ourselves. He paints us a picture of what it means to be human. Truman is an accurate representation of our human nature.

Truman, Himself

Truman is a beautifully welded character meant to make us think if we are genuine, authentic, or real. Our curiosity is not a mistake nor a curse. It is meant for us to look for the truth, to question, to want more, to understand what it really means to be human. That is the beauty of The Truman Show.

Rating: 9.6/10