Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Film reviews - The Trueman Show

The Trueman show (1999) was Directed by the creative mind of Peter Wier. This film uncovers that Postmodern concept of not feeling like your own reality is actually correct - that the vibe for life is somewhat altered and has no real grounds for understanding. It is based on how a man has grown up in an artificial reality since birth, that he is the main star of a reality TV show that basically recreates the ideal suburban American dream yet exploits a man as if he is an Animal in a Zoo. It is the ultimate "Big Brother" - a story about seeing through the lies of organised reality and finding out ones own true identity. It is exactly this notion that "Trueman" (Jim Carey) comes to find when his life seems to go nowhere; That there is no place for his own choices and interests to develop, that anything he reaches out for is torn away from him. This builds suspicion, that his own reality isn't exactly that - it isn't his own at all. The feel for the repetitive daily life cycle of Trueman, from the same people talking to him everyday, the same Car's passing at the same time, to his shifts in a typical dull Office and how his closest friends and family seem to "act" in a fashion that seems like someone else is with them. It all becomes too much and we see Trueman start to unlock these strange puzzles that seem to coincidental to be "real".Then one day Trueman feels a real surge of emotion that he seemingly hasn't felt in a genuine manner before when he meets "Lauren" who's real name is Sylvia (Natasha McElhone). This feeling is love, and we see Trueman scurrying around becoming obsessed to find out who she is. Fortunately for Trueman come to meet this character on more than one occasion, who eventually pulls Trueman to the side and exploits the truth about his curiosities. With nowhere to hide or run, Sylvia has to tell Trueman all she can as quickly as she can and insists that Trueman is to find her when he gets out. The film continues to spiral into Trueman doing his best to escape the fake TV enviroment, being warned the world outside is only as real or more so imperfect than the one he has grown up within.

The way in which this film develops a meta narrative about reality and what is real somewhat creates an uncanny depiction of the world around us and gives this film a strong, heart warming moral about individuality and what it means to be alive.

The colour scheme and lighting used within this film really reflects an almost perfect American suburbia, yet to a point where it is so cliche that it seems to shout that there is something not quite right about it. It consists of bright colours and almost a 70's style of spirit. People tend to indulge into advertising items on set, which is actually a real advertisement for a real product, usually getting Trueman involved as much as possible.

The language used is very clean and appropriate for all ages at all times, it seems that the art of swearing and violence is as  non existent as the realness of the people in Trueman's world. The music used within the film reflects the typical kind of music you would encounter in a drama series on TV - it moves in and out with the emotions that the characters portray. We see the people in control of the music behind the scenes of Trueman's world when the film shows the people in control of the shows ongoing live progression. It is interesting to note that Trueman only ever really listens to music of his own within places like the Car radio, where it can transcend into the output of the live show itself. Obviously, any atmospheric musical composition made in the control room would clash with any musical sound Trueman plays by himself. This like many things however is something that is controlled in a way Trueman becomes blissfully aware of, even family photographs of himself, or false truths imposing fears to keep him from indulging in his interest of Fiji. The camera work is a mixture of the Big Brother style narrative with the use of regular film shots, yet it all feels like one large well edited observation of someone without their consent.

Overall a fun lively, yet heart warming and slightly controversial film.


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