Why You Will Never Watch The Truman Show The Same Way Again

The Truman Show is even more important now than it was in 1998.

The Truman Show Jim Carrey
Paramount Pictures

When you think of Jim Carrey, chances are his comedic films immediately spring to mind. Classics such as Dumb & Dumber, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Liar Liar enshrined Carrey as an icon of ‘90s cinema, developing his reputation as a brilliant comedic actor. But one film in particular stands out amongst his incredible run during that decade - the film which proved that Carrey is also a phenomenal dramatic performer too: The Truman Show.

Peter Weir’s 1998 masterpiece The Truman Show celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It's a truly special film - perhaps Jim Carrey's most important - and one that feels strikingly prescient in today's digital age.

In a 2020 interview with Collider, Carrey reflected on the impact of The Truman Show and how a sequel may be approached, and it gets at why the original film is arguably more salient today than it was in 1998:

"I think The Truman Show is something that exists on a micro level now. It was kind of a story about that on a macro level. But now everybody has a subscriber channel. Everybody has their own little Truman Show world. There’s something to be had there. I often think, and am asked about, what would have happened to Truman when he goes outside the wall. It took me a while to realise that basically, he was alone out there, too, because everybody went back inside. They all wanted to be in the dome."

In today’s society of YouTube vloggers, TikTok celebrities and Instagram stars, we have immediate access to view the ‘real’ lives of others. Reality TV also sits at the forefront of popularity and often presents a faux reality for both participants and viewers of the shows themselves. Today, we can easily access our own ‘Trumans’ and watch their lives unfold - almost in real-time - exposing their personal journeys to public scrutiny, which highlights The Truman Show’s themes of surveillance, manipulation, and the loss of privacy as being ever more prevalent.


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