Describe a key moment that shocked or surprised you in the text. Explain how this moment was important to the text as a whole
A key moment that shocked me in Peter Weir’s, ‘The Truman Show’ was the interview with Christof. Christof is the manic and obsessive creator and director of the world famous TV show - the Truman Show. The interview with him is important to the text as a whole because it shows the viewers how far Christof will go to get his show more views, and to keep Truman (the main character) from finding out the truth about his life. Peter Weir effectively uses film techniques in this scene to shock the audience; a voiceover, zoom in shot, dialogue, and inset shot.
Peter Weir directed ‘The Truman Show’ in 1998 when reality TV was a relatively new concept. ‘The Truman Sow’ follows the life of Truman Burbank, an ordinary man living in an ordinary town. In reality, Truman’s life is a fake one. The place where Truman lives is actually one big TV set in a dome form - with thousands of cameras everywhere. The people around him - including his family and friends, are all actors. Truman’s life is one big TV show, which is broadcasted to millions. Truman is unaware of this, until one day, he finds out everything.
A key moment that shocked me in Peter Weir’s, ‘The Truman Show’ was the interview with Christof scene because it shows just how big of a lie Truman’s life really is. This is shown through the use of a voiceover. “One hundred and twenty million were there at his birth”. Ever since birth, Truman has been watched by millions unknowingly. He is the only one in the world who is unaware of this - yet he is the main character. This scene was important to the text as a whole because of how the viewers realise how much Truman has been lied to.
Secondly, this moment was shocking because the viewers see how far Christof went into making Truman’s life a “reality”. This is shown through the use of a zoom-in shot of the “moon” on the TV set where Christof controls and watches everything from. This moment was important to the text as a whole because the viewers realise that if even the moon isn’t real in Truman’s life, hardly anything else in his life would be real too.
Furthermore, this moment was shocking because it shows how unethical the show really is. This is shown through the use of dialogue when Christof says, “Finally we came up with the concept of Kirks drowning… Truman’s been terrified of the water ever since”. When Truman was younger, Christof tried everything he would to keep him from wanting to leave the island. Therefore, he got Truman’s “father” (Kirk, an actor) to fake drown when he went sailing with young Truman. This is important to the text as a whole because it shows how unethical the show really is. Kirk’s drowning inflicted so much sadness and trauma on Truman, who thought it was his fault.
Finally, this moment was shocking because it shows the viewers that even when Truman is doing simple, everyday things, he is still being watched. This is shown through the use of an inset shot of Truman drinking macocoa (a hot chocolate drink) during the weekly “Tru talk” (interview segment). This is important to the text as a whole because it makes the viewers realise that Truman is constantly being watched. No matter how boring it is, millions of people tune in every single day to watch him living his everyday life.
The interview with Christof was important to the text as a whole because it shows how obsessive and controlling Christof is over the show. He is so obsessed with not letting Truman find out the truth, that he goes to lengths that most other people would not. He has no conscience and doesn’t feel guilty about all the lies that Truman is being fed. He is insensitive about Truman’s feelings and only cares about the show’s success. Truman is but a puppet in Christof’s game.
In conclusion, a key moment that shocked the viewers in Peter Weir’s, ‘The Truman Show’ was the interview with Christof. This scene is shocking because it shows the extent of Christof’s lies, how much effort was put into making the show a “reality” for Truman, how unethical the show really is, and how Truman is constantly being watched by the world and hardly gets any privacy. The viewers see how manic Christof really is.