Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Paradoxical Truman

"The Truman Show", a microcosm of the world within a world, within the very world that is the “Real” world which is what we consider our own. As audience members into director Peter Weir’s visionary depiction of screenwriter Andrew Niccol, a paradox is quickly created by the introductory remarks of the faux-director, the Truman Show’s director, Christoph.
“We've become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions. We are tired of pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there's nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts, no cue cards. It isn't always Shakespeare, but it's genuine. It's a life.”

So what does it mean to become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions? Especially since by simply watching the actors create such a phony emotion created by the director of the director, one’s head begins to spin. Although, Truman, played by funnyman Jim Carrey, because all he knows is the world that was created around him with said, phony emotions, is this message described by Christoph simply the foreshadowing quote that he will eventually become bored with the land that has been created by him. He has simply set himself up to fail no matter what and perhaps that was why the introduction was the way it was. The hints that the world was not really what it appeared for Truman. His world of phony emotions, because there is “nothing fake about Truman himself”, he starts to become the very audience that Christoph is trying to advocate reasoning behind the popularity of the show.

His show becomes a hyperreality, not just for Truman, but for the counterfeit audience in a counterfeit studio, presented to a “real” audience, that is presented in a way that the director Weir is presented to one in such a fashion that the emotion experienced from the phony emotion of the characters supposively are acting upon Truman. Once removed though, there is the notion that Truman, is really Carrey, an actor, and the process becomes the paradox all over again. Conclusions can only be considered as troubling and the objectification of the creator Christoph's morality throughout his conception of the “first adoption by a corporation.”

Who is he to judge the “reality” of the world around the adopted to provide the world within a world, and who is Weir to suggest that the world is how he say it is. Throughout history many minds have words that have transcended time. I look towards Joseph Conrad “...all the truth of life is there: a moment of vision, a sigh, a smile --- and the return to an eternal rest,” which can conclude the wonder of The Truman Show. Carrey was able to have a moment of vision, a sigh, a smile, and retired his character Truman to an eternal rest, “Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night” and bows out to experience, the Real world.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you quote great modernist writer Joseph Conrad to summarize Truman's final exit: so apt and yet also so ironic, given the earnestness of Conrad's own work and his historical moment, and how it counteracts the kind of postmodernism that we find in our Baudrillardian moment. And I love how META you get in this post, taking another step out to look at Carrey as an actor. Adds a whole new level: Truman as fake construction, then the real Truman who finds himself outside of the pod, then the actor Carrey (the celebrity), and then maybe a real Carrey who is more "authentic" then his public persona... Like peeling an onion, I wonder when-- if ever-- we would get to the real, true man.


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