THREE STARS - Thoughtful
The freedom of human beings to choose their own destiny is a God-given right. But due to the pain and consequences experienced when people choose poorly, many have thought God was wrong to allow such freedom. These people have decided that human beings would be safer and happier if the world were re-created in their own conception of utopia. This is the premise of “The Truman Show”
Christof (Ed Harris) is appropriately named as the creator of a utopian world in which Truman (Jim Carey) is unknowingly encapsulated in a huge “studio” and reared from infancy. Everyone in Truman’s world is an actor except for him.
One of the motivations of such a gargantuan enterprise is the assertion that television audiences are tired of actors. Audiences want to see real people with real emotions living real lives.
But the problem is that Truman’s life isn’t real. He is not a true-man, not in most of the ways that make us truly human.
Every person in his artificial world is an actor often repeating lines of script spoken into their hidden receivers. Every sunrise, sunset, rain storm and traffic pattern is a choreographed event by the director whose control room in the simulated moon is monitoringTruman.
As the first child ever adopted by a corporation, Truman was chosen from a pool of five unwanted pregnancies. Born prematurely but at the right moment of the production schedule, Truman has been filmed from birth till age 30, twenty-four hours a day, every day of his life.
The thought of someone secretly watching us for even a moment in the privacy of our room or home is disconcerting. But the idea that there are thousands of cameras watching our every move and that our entire world is actually a domed sound stage would dehumanize us.
This is what happened to Truman. Though he is oblivious to the fact, he is more like a hamster in an elaborate cage with the world voyeuristically watching his every move.
But Truman is a human being, regardless of the attempt by Christof to recreate him in his own image.
Into Truman’s orchestrated life comes a woman who doesn’t follow the script. Silvia (Natascha McElhone) loves Truman as a person and wants a real relationship with him, not the one written for her by Christof
But, for whatever reason, Christof as the creator of Truman’s world, does not allow Truman to follow his heart. Though he obviously falls in love with Silvia, Christof instead chooses as his wife a woman whose smile and bubbly personality help him hawk the products which pay for the show.
The result of such a callous disregard for the person Truman really is speaks volumes about the kind of people who want to create a utopia.
Rather than truly loving Truman and wanting him to grow to the place of mature decision-making and creating his own life, Christof actually wants Truman to remain the dependent centerpiece of the fictional world he has created.
But Truman is a human being created in the image of God - free, responsible, capable and desiring love.
Instinctually realizing that his strangely impersonal wife does not really love him and is somehow playing a part, Truman begins to admit that his true love is Silvia.
Having tried to inform Truman of the truth of his existence years earlier when she got him alone on a secluded beach, Silvia had been taken away from him and taken to “Fiji.”
Truman decides to leave his idyllic town and go in search of his lost love. Facing his greatest fears and risking his life to pursue her, Truman outwits those who monitor the cameras and is finally faced with an ultimately defining moment in his existence: he finds the exit from his artificial paradise and thus the entrance into the real world.
At that precise moment Truman hears for the first time in his life, the resonating voice of “the creator of the television show.” Certain that he knows how Truman will respond, he encourages him to stay in the safety of his domed world.
Truman chooses not to stay.
This choice to risk life for the call of love and freedom is the call of the human soul. No utopian creation can ever replace the true call of God to live a life which, though dangerously unpredictable, is only fulfilling as we freely choose the direction of our lives.