I'm sure those who have seen the movie will have no problem understanding how I feel right now. If you liked it, it's probably because you thought it was innovative, witty, and unlike anything you've seen before. You were probably drawn to it the first time you saw Jim Carrey make faces in the mirror. You probably were very concerned about "how it is going to end" -- at least as concerned as possible you can get about a TV show character (or, er, movie character). And just as the two security guards switched channels as soon as Truman found his freedom, you and I switched gears and got on with our real lives the minute we stepped out of the theatre.
Yet some part of Truman will remain. In this little inspirational movie, we watch some warped fantasy of ours come true. We've all dreamt dreams where the world revolved around us. And the moment Truman discovers that things aren't what they seem to be, the movie escalates into a bitterly humorous satire that keeps us tuned in until the very last moment. "The Truman Show" is successful and refreshing at the same time because it tells a fantastic story while carrying a message at the same time. Unlike too many movies today, it makes us draw our own conclusions but does not lecture to us. Some just see it as an exciting adventure, some may want to compare Truman's peaceful world with the evil "outside" where true freedom exists. On any level, the movie amuses and awes. Little treats on the way are the characters' carefully constructed "dialogues," Laura Linney's (the wife) plastered fake smiles, the "ads" placed throughout the show, peeks of Truman's life through hidden cameras. The only person I didn't like throughout the whole movie was the actress who played Sylvia Garland aka FijiGirl. She just didn't "feel" right for the role.
Part of me is actually disappointed, because the movie could have brought so much more into focus; yet I'm glad it ended just at the right moment, because anything more would cause the movie to lose its "feel," the balance between seriousness and comedy, an originality and audacity that isn't too common today. What happens when Truman steps beyond the door isn't essential--his life doesn't belong to us anymore beyond that point. Show's over. Roll the credits.
"Oh, and in case I don't see you. . . good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight!"
Rating: A- (First viewing, 6/25/98)
*The wall where the sea and the sky actually meet? It's the less sinister version of the "wall" in "Dark City."