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"We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented” is an important quote from the film The Truman Show, directed by Peter Weir. This quote expresses the idea that we are often forced to accept what is shown to us, without the chance to fully understand its integrity or genuineness. It reinforces the theme of the true nature of media and how our lives are controlled by our instincts and passions. The truman show focuses on Truman, a baby once abandoned and then adopted by a film agency to create a TV show. The movie follows Truman’s journey to discovering the truth and the obstacles that block his path. The final scene where Truman finally escapes after his confrontation with Christof the creator of the show is important as viewers sympathise with Truman and undergo a liberating experience as they witness Truman stand up for himself. In addition, Christof whose name resembles Christ showcases the godlike superiority he holds over Truman’s life. Four powerful techniques that were used in this scene were the use of various camera shots such as close-up and tracking shots, dialogue between characters and lighting and setting in the scene. These techniques symbolise the threatening nature of society and act as a pre-warning of the bleak future ahead of us if society does not change its manipulating and intrusive ways.

The use of close-up shots and tracking shots during this scene collectively contribute to the overall dynamic of the confrontation between Christof and Truman. Close-up shots are used back and forth between Truman and Christof. This effectively illustrates the tension between the characters and intensifies the scene for the audience. It is through these close-up shots that viewers truly sympathise with Truman as they can visually understand the emotional damage Truman has undergone. Each close-up shot of Truman clearly illustrates his reaction to discovering the truth. As the scene progresses the use of these shots shows viewers that Truman’s initial expressions of shock and hurt then proceed to show a sense of determination. On the other hand, Christof is shown to hold a stronger front. His attempts to manipulate Truman are vividly represented through these close-up shots as his eyes narrow as Truman argues with him. Viewers understand that Christof grows frustrated as Truman defies his submission to Christof. In addition to close-up shots, Weir deliberately uses a tracking shot of Truman to follow his steps. Viewers can move with Truman through this pivotal moment and feel as though they were a part of Truman’s journey of self-discovery. Together, these techniques effectively build intensity throughout the scene and form a sense of sympathy and compassion from the audience. Weir’s purpose in using these shots was to allow viewers to feel as though they were a part of the scene and experience the emotional rollercoaster that Truman had to undergo. This scene relates to the film as a whole as it builds on the toxic entertainment industry in today’s modern society. Weir intends to show viewers the reality of the exploitation of lives as a form of entertainment.

Another example of an effective technique in this scene is dialogue. “I know you better than you know yourself”. Christof’s statement proves how the media can be intrusive. Christof’s main goal in saying this is to challenge Truman and assert his authority over him, in the hopes that Truman will doubt his sense of self-worth. Viewers sympathise with Truman as they understand how difficult it must have been for him to understand that his entire life so far has been scripted. This statement further intensifies the tension between the two characters. However, Truman replies “You never had a camera in my head’. This shows viewers that Truman rejects the idea that he is in any way inferior to Christof and the Seahaven community. This is especially important as it marks the moment in which Truman recognises and establishes his sense of self-worth. Viewers feel a sense of relief as they are happy with Truman’s decision and accept his decision to act for himself. Christof who has constantly taken control of Truman and manipulated him understands through Truman’s rebuttal that he can no longer maintain control over him. He realises that there is no hope and that whatever he might say to Truman will not change his mind. “You’re afraid. That’s why you can’t leave.” Christof grows frustrated knowing that he has lost his superiority over Truman. This relates to the idea that we are often forced to accept what is shown to us, without the chance to fully understand its integrity or genuineness. Truman was manipulated and lied to and the only reason he didn’t realise sooner was because he never questioned his reality until it was pointed out to him. This idea encourages viewers to reevaluate instances in their lives and understand the deceitful nature of the media.

In addition, the set and lighting are used hand in hand to emphasise the journey of self-discovery that Truman led. The set in this scene consists of a wall that is intended to be the ‘sky’. This wall serves as a symbol of the barrier that was built in place to separate Truman from the true world and represents his confinement to Seahaven. From afar, the wall appears as an ordinary sky. But in the scene, truman crashes into the wall, only then realising that the so-called sky was fake. It is a crucial point in the scene as it confirms all of Truman’s suspicions. All doubts are cleared of Truman as the wall proves the intervention of an ‘external power’ in Truman’s life. Crashing into this sky symbolises Truman’s breakthrough and reiterates his liberation and freedom from the TV show. Furthermore, the harsh artificial lighting in the set cast shadows onto the “sky”. These shadows represent the impact of Truman’s actions in the scene. The shadows portray a larger figure than Truman showing how his retaliation against the constraints of the Truman Show changed the hierarchy configuration between Truman and Christof. Viewers witness Truman step out into the light symbolising the truth and hope that truman has opened for himself. This reiterates the importance of the power of the media and its illusive effects. It was only through the shadows and set that viewers understood how easy it is to become manipulated, and the importance of believing in yourself. If truman hadn’t trusted his instincts then he would never have made it out of the Truman Show. Amplifying the idea that our passions and instincts control us.

Weir’s, The Truman Show is a highly recognised film as it demonstrates the important theme of the true nature of media and how we are often forced to accept what is shown to us, without the chance to fully understand its integrity or genuineness. The use of powerful techniques in this scene such as close-up and tracking shots, dialogue between characters and lighting and set in the scene emphasised the idea that our lives are controlled by our instincts and passion and that Truman rejected the idea that he was in any way inferior to Christof and the Seahaven community. This movie is relevant today as the world is continuously advancing in technology. It is hard to determine what is true and what is just an illusion. The Truman Show brings clarity on how viewers should not easily trust what they see and realise the importance of trusting their instincts. Thousands of people are affected negatively by the media each day. Weir created The Truman Show to foreshadow and provide a warning for the bleak future ahead of us if we continue to allow the manipulation of the media.