This is Part 2 of Creative Writing and Enthralling Results
We pick up with MakeBetterMedia review of the Truman Show. I transcribed the video notes to at least 90% accuracy. If you Perceptive Readers notice any corrections needed, by all means feel free to contact me via the Telegram app group or on Minds.com.
Best Regards and Enjoy! – James Lynch
Christof Speaking: “While the world he inhabits is in some respects, counterfeit. There’s nothing fake about Truman.”
MakeBetterMedia: Speaking: And welcome back to my channel. Make better media where we discuss and analyze movies and TV shows to see where the writing went, curiously well or horribly wrong today. I want to take a quick look at the Truman show.
A movie about a man whose entire life has been televised without his knowledge, his entire world. Being a reality fabricated by a single writer, populated by actors, a movie that expertly plays with your emotions and makes you question your sense of reality. The premise of the movie is fairly new. The questions at poses are certainly similar to the matrix, but I’m sure most would agree this movie is almost entirely different. It’s an interesting question though, that I’m sure most people have thought about at some point in their lives. What if the reality I see isn’t the true reality. This is the main question. The Truman show poses, but as it well done is the movie well made. Well, if you don’t already agree that it is then hopefully this video will show not only that it is well made, but more importantly, why it’s well-made.
So without further ado, let us begin.
SECTION B The Truman Show
Meryl Burbank Speaking: Well, for me, there is no, there is no difference between the private life and public life. My life is my life is the Truman show. The Truman show is a lifestyle. It’s a noble life. It is truly blessed.
MakeBetterMedia Speaking: The film starts with an excellent opening showing us the credits for the show within the movie. And we get these interesting little interviews with the actors that are playing the characters and Truman’s life. They talk about how being on the Truman show. Isn’t just an acting job, but that it’s a lifestyle.
And Marlon, the man who plays Truman’s best friend says that nothing on the show is fake. It’s merely controlled. This gives us an excellent look right at the start about what this movie is going to be about. Is there a difference between the true reality and a manufactured reality?
A Character Speaking: Are you real well, if you can’t tell; does it matter?
MakeBetterMedia Speaking: This is an excellent way of setting up the premise of the movie. It shows us that the people on the show truly believe they’re doing a noble thing. They believe all they’re doing is making a show that gives hope in life to people who need it. They don’t see what they’ve been doing as an awful thing to do to another person.
They just want to put on the best show possible. After the interview is it cuts the Truman talking to himself in front of the mirror and right off the bat, we get excellent characterization for Truman. He’s a dreamer, someone who wants to be an adventure, but as we know, he’s been trapped as he’s initially leaving for work, we get his catch phrase.
Truman Speaking: Oh. And in case I don’t see you. Good afternoon. Good evening. And good night
MakeBetterMedia Speaking: And then a light falls from the sky. I was initially confused by this. I thought this was something that should certainly tip them off to something being not right. But then I realized that if this were to happen to me, the fact that I was on a TV show, that was constantly broadcasting. my life would be so far from my mind.
But now we see Truman on his morning commute to work. And the theory I have that I really hope is true is when he’s driving his car, the radio always plays classical music. This could be because the music was public domain and royalty free to play on live TV. But after Truman gets to work. We get the prelude to his tragic love story with Lauren is something we don’t really understand when first watching, but it does serve to set up his desire to go to Fiji. Now, one of his coworkers gives them a file telling him that he has to go across the bay in order to close a deal. And this is where we also get Truman’s intense fear of the ocean, but this is something I don’t really understand.
All of this is scripted, obviously. So why would they want to put them in a situation where he could potentially overcome his fear of the ocean? Maybe they just want some more drama for the TV show, or maybe they want to test him to see if he has overcome that fear. So they know if they need to concoct more ways to keep him on the island.
I don’t know; It’s not really a huge deal. And there are potential answers to this. I guess it’s just something I wish we could have seen. However, the efficiency with which this movie characterizes Truman is honestly incredible because right after that, we get Truman talking to his best friend, telling him how he wants to leave.
He wants to get off the island and go to Fiji. But right after this, we get flashbacks of Truman when he lost his father in a boating accident, something that would obviously be tragic, but to find out that not only was it not real, but to know that it was manufactured. That’s something that no human has ever really had to deal with.
That’s really the beauty of this movie. This premise something that no one has ever actually gone through, but we can almost all relate to on a fundamental level because it’s something you can’t actually prove isn’t happening to you right now. It’s an existential fear that pretty much anyone can feel. But we really don’t understand the ramifications it would have, if that fear turned out to be true. But after his time at the beach, he walks past his father on the street. He sees him and tries to talk to him. But before you can really say anything, people take them away onto a bus. This gets explained as the law enforcement trying to clean up the city of homeless people, but you can see that it sparks something and Truman, it sparks the search for truth. This is when he begins to question the things around him. So he goes and talks to his mother about what happened. And she tells him that she sees his father all the time, implying that it was just a hallucination. I just can’t get over the absolute lack of morality these characters have to put someone through the loss of their father. When you know, it’s a lie to pretend to be someone’s mother, the person you’re supposed to trust more than anyone else and just lie to them for their entire life. It’s heartbreaking to watch, but this movie crafts, these scenarios, so well, it puts them in an almost fun light.
It makes it so you don’t truly feel just how tragic all of this is. Now. We get another flashback this time it’s Truman seeing Lauren and the scene gives us one of those love at first sight looks after that, we get a scene of a dance party where he’s dancing with marrow, but he sees Lauren through the crowd and it’s obvious that he wants to talk to her, but after a few seconds, we see Lauren being taken away by people in suits. This is showing us that even Truman’s relationship with his now wife is something that was manufactured and forced down a path that Truman didn’t want to take. Then it cuts the Truman being in a college library and where he runs into Lauren again. And the fact that she’s here and so close to Truman definitely makes it seem like she snuck onto the set. She’s also wearing a pin that says, how’s it going to end? This shows us that she truly cares for Truman. And she wants him to know the truth. This is the only person ever in Truman’s life that has genuinely cared for him. And she’s ripped away because of that fact, because she cares and because she’s real, she has no place in Truman’s life. Now we see the picture that Truman is creating, trying to recreate Lauren. Directly behind a picture of his wife. We cut the Truman and his car and his radio begins to malfunction and he hears people talking about his, every move.
This is where Truman truly begins to realize that something is not right. He starts feeling paranoid. He begins acting erratically. Like he’s trying to find cracks in the world. He finds an elevator with nothing behind the door. Just people who look like they’re on a set, but even now he doesn’t realize that his life is fake because I mean, why would he, I don’t think even if all this happened to anyone except the most paranoid of us, that we would fully realize that our entire life was fake. Every relationship we’ve ever had has been scripted. And every path we’ve taken was laid before us by a screen writer. Now we get the sequence where Truman is trying to get into the hospital to see his wife. And we get the hilarious bit of all the ways the show runners, try to organically block him.
After that though, he goes to a travel agency to get a ticket to Fiji. And I love all the little hints they have around Truman trying to discourage him from traveling. There’s the poster warning about disease and terrorism and the poster of the plane getting struck by lightning. It’s all just wonderful little details.
Now we see where Truman realizes the people around him are pretty much stuckin a loop. And this is where we start to see the beginning of his near psychological breakdown. He traps Merrill in the car with him and begins driving at high speeds. And we clearly see that he’s trying to throw off whatever is causing things to block his way.
He seems to throw off the showrunners and makes it all the way to the bridge where we see his fear of the ocean kick in as he’s unable to cross the bridge, but to overcome this, he grabs Meryl’s hand and throws it onto the wheel. Closes his eyes and stomps on the gas pedal. This is the kind of consistent character writing. I love to see, even though he’s in the midst of a psychological break, he still holds on to this fear of the ocean. The writers could have just as easily made Truman, forget about this fear, given the situation, but they remembered it. They got creative and they wrote around it. It may seem small, but these are the kinds of things that are unappreciated nowadays.
The parts of stories that make these characters so believable and relatable, this is what defines the art form to me Truman gets taken back home after failing to leave the island. And he begins to get suspicious of Meryl. This is also where we get the part of the movie that always makes me laugh the hardest.
SECTION C The Truman Show
Meryl Burbank Speaking: Why don’t you let me fix you. Some of this new Mo cocoa drink, all natural cocoa beans from the upper slopes of mountain Nicaragua, no artificial sweeteners.
Truman Speaking: What are you talking about?
Meryl Burbank Speaking: I’ve tasted other Cocos. This is the best.
MakeBetterMedia Speaking: After that though Meryle Burbank pulls a knife on him and he grabs her and she yells do something.
This clearly tips them off to the fact that she’s talking to someone other than him. And I just have to say the casting of Jim Carey for this movie could not have been more perfect. He straddles the line between being a tragic character cartoonish with flawless precision. I really couldn’t imagine how this movie would have turned out, had the role gone to anyone else.
But now we see one of the hardest parts of the movie for me to watch Truman is sitting on the end of the pier, talking to his best friend, the person, he should always be able to talk to always be able to trust. He talks to Truman about the times they had growing up together. Then it cuts to the show, runners feeding him the lines.
And he tells Truman that he would walk into traffic forum and that the last thing he would ever do is lie to him. It’s so hard to watch because I’ve had friendships like this people that I could trust with my life. And if I were to find out that they’d been fed lines through the entire relationship that everything they had ever said to me had been a lie.
It would be soul crushing. Now we get an interview with the show’s creator and they take calls. And one of those calls is from Lauren. She calls Christof a liar and a manipulator, but Christof uses this as an excuse to justify what he’s done. He tells her that he’s given Truman the ability to lead a normal life.
And if Truman was absolutely determined to leave, then he could, but Truman prefers his cell so, and this is the line where I really believe the soul of the movie comes from. It’s a true triumph of the human spirit, where even with a godlike figure that can actually control it pretty much all the factors of Truman’s life.
He is still able to overcome all the obstacles laid before him and still find the truth that he’s seeking. It’s really beautiful. After the interview, we see Truman go back to his normal life. We see him go through the routine he went through at the start of the movie, but at the end of the day, we see him fall asleep in the basement and Truman goes missing.
He’s escaped. And the whole town starts to look for him, but this is where I feel like I need to give the movie some criticism, even if they are able to find them, if they find them like this, what is he supposed to think? How could they possibly expect to save the show? At this point? Now they find Truman out on the ocean, sailing out to sea, but Christof still wants to stop him.
So they caused a storm to get them to turn back. But Truman is still determined to make it. They go, as far as hitting his boat with lightning and causing Truman to fall into the water. And Christof gives a line to show that he’s willing to let Truman die.
Character Speaking: The whole world is watching. We can’t let him die in front of a live audience.
Christof Speaking: He was born in front of a live audience.
MakeBetterMedia Speaking: Truman makes it back to the boat and we get one of my favorite lines from the show.
Hey to me, this perfectly encapsulates Truman is pure determination to escape his manufactured life and into the world. Christoph said earlier in the interview, we accept the reality we’re given, but Truman hasn’t done that. He’s rejected the fictional reality and has a desperate need to escape it. He wasn’t given the option to find the Truth.
He took it for himself. He didn’t want to know the Truth he needed to, after he makes it to the exit before he leaves Christof talks to him, he tells him that there’s no more truth out there than in here. And then nothing bad can happen to him in the world. He’s created. Christof asks him to say something and instead of giving some grandiose speech or anything like that, he just looks at him and gives him the can line he’s used over and over again.
Christof Speaking: Say something, God dammit. You’re on television. You’re live to the whole world.
Truman Speaking: In case I don’t see ya. Good afternoon. Good evening. And goodnight.
MakeBetterMedia Speaking:This is because he understands what Christof wants and he doesn’t want to give it to him. He realizes that Christof would want some amazing grand finale to this show that’s been on air for almost 30 years. So Truman basically gives him the biggest middle finger possible.
SECTION D The Truman Show
MakeBetterMedia: After this, the movie ends on an entirely upbeat note with Truman stepping out into the real world and all the people watching, cheering, and clapping. But this is a big part of what makes this movie truly great. Because the best movies don’t leave. You ready to move on to something else? They’ll make you sit and wonder just what the hell is going to happen next.
Because while this movie seemingly has a happy ending, I think a good number of people realize it’s not going to stay that way. This is simply a cleverly disguised tragedy. After realizing that everything Truman is known, turned out to be a lie. How could you possibly trust anything ever again? This is what I was talking about earlier, when it came to not being able to fully understand the ramifications of something like this, we have no baseline for what will happen to people that go through this.
We can only imagine. And when you add on the fact that Truman is the most famous person in the world at this point, I feel he will never be able to discern reality from fabrication. If someone were to just hold the door open for him, he’d have to wonder why would it be because they’re just polite or would it be because he’s Truman or were they told to do that by some script writer?
And that paranoia would seep into every facet of his life. His mother, father, wife, and best friend were all manufactured relationships. How would he get close to anyone without wondering whether or not they’d been fed lines from someone else. And now this is where I want to talk about Truman as a character.
The very first lines we get from Truman is him pretending to be an adventure, A nearly 30 year old man, still hanging on to his childhood fantasy of going out and exploring the world. This opening scene with Truman tells us so much of what we need to know about him. And it does so in a perfectly natural way, it’s just a man getting ready for work, pretending to be a Mountaineer in the mirror.
But it’s really so much more it’s as one real desire to escape as normal life and explore the world. Just it’s just wonderful. But as the movie goes on, we start to see things be less whimsical, less cartoony. It starts to become darker. It begins with the flashbacks of his father drowning. Then he actually sees his father and his own mother lies to him.
Then we get the flashbacks of Lauren and we see that he isn’t truly happy in the marriage. She has now. And to me, the awfulness of the situation truly sets in when his best friend is shown to be feeding him can line straight from Christof. This movie takes a person that I’m sure most people can relate to and feel empathy towards puts him in a situation that could have been conceived by a Nazi psychologist.
And it presses him just hard enough for cracks to start forming, but it never breaks him through all of it. He holds onto his desire to escape his cage and see the truth that comes with breaking out. Now, I want to get back to the scene where Truman sailing out to sea, because honestly I’ll never truly be done talking about it.
His search for knowledge has allowed him to conquer his fear of the ocean and achieve his goal of making it off the island. We know he has very strong suspicions that something is wrong with the island and his life, but he still doesn’t know exactly what it is. This is another part of the movie where I feel like there was a real genius behind it.
As Truman, as sailing out to sea, we get this strong sense that he really hopes he’s wrong about everything he suspects that he’ll just eventually reach land and be able to see the rest of the world. It’s like when you suspect your significant, other of cheating on you, you hope you’re wrong, but you still need to know the truth.
You won’t be any better off from knowing the truth. In fact, it will likely make your life worse, at least temporarily. But what I’m saying is Truman won’t be any better off from learning the truth either. In fact, his life is about to get much, much harder, but he needs to know. He needs to know if the suspicions he has about his entire life are true.
And when he finally crashes into that wall, it’s a one-to-one metaphor of him crashing into reality. His hope is that he’s wrong about all of this, but him finding the truth is him literally hitting a wall. That’s something that really resonates with me. And I feel like it would resonate with many people and all this has made so much better by the fact that the script is so tightly written, I’ve thrown a couple minor criticisms at this movie, and I’m sure there are more like the fact that they have 5,000 cameras and the night Truman escapes they have two people watching them. It’s a little silly, but even then they all thought that he had essentially gone back to normal. This happened after his wife had left him. So there must have been a good amount of time between his last escape attempt and this one where nothing truly of note had happened. And I feel like even without that excuse, this is such a minor flaw barely worth mentioning. What I’m trying to say is even when looked at objectively, this film holds up extremely well, to scrutiny. That’s why saying stuff like this, “every single movie will fall apart when you start picking it apart. Objectively” seems so strange to me because no, I don’t believe every movie will fall apart.
When looked at objectively, it might be true that every movie has flaws when looked at objectively. But even then, I couldn’t be certain because I haven’t critically analyzed every single movie in existence however, a movie having objective flaws is not the same as it falling apart. That’s a truly ridiculous statement and an insult to writers that actually take time with their scripts to ensure that they’re internally sound and consistent as possible.
And maybe it’s true that no story will ever be perfect, but the effort to make it as close as possible should always be appreciated. Now with all that out of the way, I’ll say this, this movie is a bonafide masterpiece the writing is absolutely top-notch dialogue, never feels out of place or a natural. I never noticed any editing mistakes and the acting is phenomenal.
Ed Harris is fantastic. Laura Linney and Noah Emmerich do a standup job, but Jim Carrey, my God, the fact that he wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar for this movie is a crime. He goes from a goofy fun guy. To a man wallowing in sadness over the death of his father, to someone having a nervous breakdown and essentially holding his wife hostage back to a goofy guy.
And then to a man who’s finally broken free of his proverbial chains all without missing a single beat. I said before, I couldn’t imagine role being played by anyone else. And I really believe that Jim Carrey becomes Truman and it’s magnificent to see. So if you’ve made it this far in the video and you haven’t seen this movie yet do it now, I promise you won’t be disappointed even with everything mostly spoiled for you.
It doesn’t matter. This is a movie you could watch 10 times in a row and still find new stuff to appreciate. I don’t really like giving numbers to movies because it’s really hard to stay consistent with them, but I know people appreciate them. So I would give this movie at nine out of 10 easily.
Everything is just so damn well done. So now I think I’ve said everything I wanted to say about this movie.
MakeBetterMedia Website and Links
So the review is over and I just wanted to talk a little bit about what I hope to do with my channel. I really enjoy analyzing media and I hope to be able to keep doing it, but I likely won’t be able to keep doing that if I’m unable to grow an audience.
I hope you appreciated this close to word by word transcribing notes I worked on for the past couple of days of this review by MakeBetterMedia. In my own commentary experience over the years, I rate his review of The Truman Show a 10/10. – Best Wishes James