The Truman Show

I’ve never been a die-hard fan of Jim Carrey.

When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching a few of his movies — such as “The Mask” and “Ace Ventura” — and though I did enjoy them, they were never my favorites. This general opinion of Carrey’s work is one that I still find myself holding whenever I watch one of his films. I think he’s a funny, talented actor, but he doesn’t exactly match my sense of humor.

Despite this, I was very much looking forward to watching “The Truman Show” for this week’s Rewind Review. Carrey has received acclaim for his dramatic acting chops in multiple films, but “The Truman Show” is arguably his most iconic non-comedic film. It’s been widely praised for its execution of extreme reality television concept, and the film even was nominated for several Oscars. 

It’s because of the film’s various accolades and general reputation that I found myself disappointed after viewing it.

To be honest, I didn’t love “The Truman Show” as much as everyone else seemingly does. Now, don’t get me wrong — I by no means disliked this movie. I actually thought it was a fairly well-directed and acted movie that centered around a very interesting concept. But the whole thing never quite clicked for me, which ultimately made the movie a little more than decent.

In case you’re not already familiar, “The Truman Show” focuses on a man named Truman Burbank (Carrey), who is unknowingly the star of a reality TV show from which the film takes its name. His entire world — his friends, his town, his job and everything else — has been manufactured to make him believe it’s real. In actuality, it’s all a ruse to hide the truth that his life has been filmed and broadcasted on television since he was born. His friends are actors, his home is a set and his world is fictional. In the film, “The Truman Show” is one of the most popular shows on television, largely because audiences want to know if Truman will ever uncover the truth of his life. 

I think the concept behind the story of “The Truman Show” is really interesting, and it certainly makes for an entertaining and intriguing flick. However, it never really went above and beyond for me. 

The film presents its core concept to the audience, but it doesn’t go beyond what one would expect to happen in a movie like this. The plot was fairly predictable, and there weren’t any moments in which I was genuinely surprised by how things transpired, nor was I at a loss for what was going to happen next. The whole film proceeds almost entirely as anticipated. When there aren’t any bombshell surprises or twists in a movie like this, it’s hard to remain interested in what’s happening. 

I thought that Carrey’s performance in the lead role was fairly solid, but, similar to the rest of the film, it never really went further than the norm. However, I also don’t think this is a role that called for Carrey to be his usual bombastic, absurdist and comedic self. In fact, it calls for nearly the opposite: someone who’s just going with the flow of life and doesn’t really stand out in the crowd. In that sense, Carrey did exactly what he was supposed to do. He toned down his usual schtick and focused on the needs of the character. For that, I applaud him. 

I went into “The Truman Show” expecting to be surprised, but the biggest surprise I found coming out of it was that I don’t really have much to say about the movie.

I think it’s a fine movie. It has an interesting premise, and Carrey is good in the lead role, but the film as a whole never wowed me. It felt like the kind of movie you watch once and enjoy. Then, a few weeks later, the whole film is forgotten, just like any random B-level TV show you’d find when flipping through the channels.