The film is how man involuntarily carries out


The Truman Show is a (1998) satirical
science fiction film, starring actor Jim Carrey playing character Truman
Burbank. “The film depicts a series of fateful events, a phoney town, full of
actors and fake lives; enclosed in a giant dome there are high-tech simulations
that enforce a nonstop telethon of ‘reality’. ( Online The
premise of the film is how man involuntarily carries out a life within this
dystopian world, unaware that his entire life is a reality show that is
broadcasted 24/7, Truman slowly begins to unravel the horrible truth. As the
rest of humanity watch him go from “one staged situation into another, the
audience enjoy a little pathos and vicarious emotion”, ( of
a character who is to delusional to challenge the mass world of media-politics.

 cultural theorist Guy Debord states ‘The
Society of the Spectacle’, “traces the development of a modern society through
a collection of thesis, that discuss the authentic social life that has been
replaced with its representation of the spectacle”. (Debord 1967). Thesis 6 of
the book mentions that ‘understood in its totality, the spectacle is both the
outcome and the goal of the dominant mode of production. It is not something
added to the real world. On the contrary it is the very heart of society’s real
unreality” (Debord 1967). Thus, does the movie offer us a metaphor for own
situation. Especially today, where Hollywood filmmaking has provided us with
commentary on reality and free will, it’s a common part of the everyday now to
be paranoid about having this fear of being watched by the government on our
digital devices. The manufactured world set up by the media, Truman Is situated
in is merely imitates our own media landscape that is formed of news, politics,
advertising and public affairs all things we watch to be entertained and aware
of the everyday. “In all its specific manifestations – news or propaganda,
advertising or the actual consumption of entertainment- the spectacle epitomizes
the prevailing model of social life” – (Debord 1967). Debords theory and the
moral of the movie, routinely take towards media. In one aspect, we are
absorbed by it; and we accept the rendition of reality as we are occupied by
its view (the view in which the media impose).  The media have fabricated our attitudes, we
frequently experience this ‘real unreality’ through reading news stories and
watching television, movies break down from this illusion we mist however, set
ourselves away from this media landscape ‘prevailing us from social’ affairs’ (Debord
1967). It is apparent the movie is of course a form of media depicting a “pseudo
norm” (Debord 1967) of reality, yet we are consumed by its own take on the
meaning of things. The movie mass communicates the exploitation of what the
media is capable of and its willingness to parade as well as victimise, humans just
for newsworthy events for a worldwide ‘spectacle’ (Debord 1967),’. Ultimately the
Truman Show portrays how the media desensitizes moral attitudes amongst the
life of Truman. In relevance, Debord embodies media as the ‘dominant mode of
production’ (Debord 1967), Media spectacles cover the whole world and attracts
viewers globally.


Critical theorists Adorno &
Horkheimer ‘real life is becoming indistinguishable from the movies’ (Adorno
& Horkheimer 1944). Much like Truman who in the show is absorbed by his
stage –set world and everything that resides in it, convinced that his fake
world is authentic manipulated by the power of media. Adorno & Horkheimer
apply their studies on the many forms of social domination and mass culture
through one of their core texts ‘Dialectic of Enlightenment’. This text was a
radical break in history in hope that emancipation: the encouragement of free
thinking would become the instrument that would break man from domination. (image
1) indicates the final scene from the movie where Truman decides to leave the
manufactured world, to discover the new ‘real’ world. The Truman Show offers a
metaphor for contemporary American culture, that is that we must distance
ourselves from the safety and comfort the media offers us and be willing to
live in the world as it is. The use of the sky background (Image 1) suggests
Truman’s emancipation over the power of the media, the next two images show the
reality behind the screen and the vignette around the frame vanishing,
suggesting that Truman is now free.