Director: Peter Weir
The Truman Show at first seems to be an odd inclusion in a list of dystopian films, but it does have some of the hallmarks of a good transitional dystopia. The story is about Truman Burbank, a mild-mannered kind of guy in an idyllic little seaside town. Only, it isn’t a town, it’s an elaborate television set inside of a dome, filled with actors. Truman is the only person involved that doesn’t realize that this reality isn’t real.
Truman is raised from birth in this faux reality, every moment of his life recorded and broadcast, every event choreographed and scripted. One day he stumbles backstage, and only then begins to notice the little quirks of unreality that surround him at every turn. It’s quite a good film, and one of the first times that Jim Carrey was able to show that he was an actor, not just a sketch show mimic and comedian.
There is plenty of thought behind this film regarding the mediation of life through technology, and of course the general bent of reality TV, which hadn’t yet reached a fever pitch when the film was released. It may not seem like an outright dystopian film, but the broader context in which Truman lives is a world which would allow a television executive complete control over a man’s life. It is an isolated incident, but one which the entire world knows of and (aside from a small handful of protestors) approves of as well.
Review Date: 2010-07-24
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120382/