- Describe at least one important technique used in the written text.
Explain how this technique helped you to understand one or more key ideas.
The Truman Show is about a reality TV show that follows this man, Truman in his day to day life. However truman does not know that he his in a reality tv show and everything else around him is fake. A few weeks before his 30th birthday, truman starts to realise the truth about who he is and what is going on because of a light falling from the sky and his dead father coming back. He finds out the truth in the end and leaves the show to go to the real world. One important technique in the film “The Truman Show” directed by Peter Weir is truman’s costume, dialogue and lighting which portrays the important idea of individuality and freedom, and morality.
One important theme in the Truman show is freedom and individuality which is portrayed by the technique of Truman’s costume. Truman’s costume is very bright and childish. He wears bright colour combinations and stripes. In one of the first scenes we see truman wearing bright red shorts and a yellow, green and red striped shirt doing gardening. No grown man would choose to wear these clothes. The bright colours make it look like childrens clothes and that he didn’t pick them out himself. It shows us that he has no control over one of the most simple things in life, so what does he have control over? His whole life was planned out for him, he didn’t get to choose his job, friends, or even his own wife. The stripes represent prison bars as he is trapped in his life that he thinks is real. He is so trapped that he has never left Seahaven or gone on holiday outside of the fake town. Truman’s costume portrays the idea of individuality and freedom as he has no freedom to do anything for the freedom to show who he really is. Clothing is one of the biggest ways that you can express yourself and your individuality but Truman has had that right taken away from him since birth. As he has been controlled his entire life, he has had no time to fully find out who he is and mature into an adult. He hasn’t gone through that phase that all people go through when they are a young adult to find out who they really are and what makes them unique and individuals. Truman’s clothing represent the one personality that he is allowed to have, which is nice and friendly, but as people mature their clothing does too and Truman is still stuck in these childish clothes which show us how little he has really matured. Truman’s lack of individuality and freedom relates to today as most schools in New Zealand have to wear uniforms and we don’t get to express who we really are. When I am walking down the street after school, people are only going to see what school I go to and nothing about me. His life on a reality TV show relates to the people in real life who have taken part in reality TV shows with how little freedom they have. If you go on a reality TV show, you have to hand over your social media accounts for a whole year, even when the show has ended and most of the shows are scripted to a certain extent so you could not really say how you actually felt. It is really sad how little freedom Truman has had in his life as he is almost 30 years old and still wasn’t choosing his own clothes.
Another important theme in The Truman Show was morals, this was portrayed by Truman’s and christof’s dialogue. Truman is normally a very outgoing, friendly person but as he is finding out the truth, his dialogue changes a lot. Truman’s main catchphrase is ‘good morning… and if I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night’. At the end of the film’s dialogue changes very dramatically as he is willing to die for what he believes in. When Truman is escaping Seahaven, the creator of the show, Christof, is controlling the weather over the ‘sea’ where Truman is sailing to try and get Truman to stay. Truman is so angry as he is certain that he has been lied to his entire life that he is ready to die. “Is that the best you’ve got?” “You’re going to have to kill me” is what he shouted out as the storm got even worse. This shows us the idea of morals as Truman is willing to die for what he believes in. Truman would rather die than stay in a place where he is almost certain everybody is lying to him. He has got the highest morals in the movie as everybody else has been faking their love for him. Despite being around people his whole life who only care about fame and fortune, he has still managed to live a life of being truthful and highly moral. On the other hand there is Christof, who has got the worst morals in the entire cast and crew of the truman show. He is willing to kill truman rather than let him find out the truth ssnd leave the show. This is shown when he is talking to one of the producers and she says “we can’t kill him on live television” and Christof replies with “he was born on live television”. This shows us that he is so morally corrupt that he would murder someone to keep his fame and fortune. Even though Truman was basically raised by Christof without his knowledge he is still somebody that people should strive to be like. Truman is almost 100% sure that he is in some kind of TV show but is willing to give it all away because he knows that what has happened to him is so morally corrupt. This idea is still relevant today as people are still dying for what they believe in. For example, Martin Luther King jr. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in 1969 for standing up for Black civil rights in America, Malala yousafzai was shot for being an activist for women’s educational rights in Pakistan. These are people that knew others hated them and were in danger but still stood up for what they believed in and for what is right, just like how truman did when he left Seahaven.
Another way that morals were portrayed in this movie was through the lighting on Truman. All throughout the film he had been fully lit which showed us he was happy and didn’t know anything about the world he lived in but at the end the lighting on his face changed to being half lit and half dim. This shows us that he is in two minds about staying or going. Also at the end when he opens the door to the outside world it is completely dark while Seahaven in very bright showing us that Truman really has no idea what the real world is like as it is still dark for him. It shows us how scary it is going to be for him. The lighting also shows us how moral Truman is as he still chooses to leave. In the very last scene we see him walk through the door into the darkness of the real world. Truman doesn’t know anyone or anything about the new world he is stepping into, but still chooses the right choice to do so. He also doesn’t know how famous he is and that people all around the world know everything about him. The only person he thinks could be out there is Sylivia, the girl who tried to tell him the truth about his life when he was a teenager. He has no idea how to actually live outside of Seahaven and there is so much he is going to have to find out for himself. Even though he knows that it will be scary and that he might only know one person he still chooses to leave instead of staying for the fame and fortune, especially now that he knows he is famous to some extent. This relates to today as many stars leave the spotlight because they don’t agree with hollywood’s morality. For example Naz from season two of New Zealand’s Bachelor backed out from a spin off reality TV show to protect her mental health. This shows that she has high enough morals to know that reality dating shows are bad so she backed out despite the fame that comes with them and that is exactly what Truman did.
In conclusion Trumans costume, dialouge and lighting portray to us the ideas of freedom and induviduality and morality.