The Truman Show

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The Truman Show

In the film The Truman Show, directed by Peter Weir, an important idea is the idea of imprisonment. This is displayed through Truman’s subtle confinement in Seahaven, which is psychological, physical and influenced by his friends and family who live there.

Ever since Truman was young, the creators of The Truman Show have been manipulating him into not wanting to leave Seahaven, claiming that they “were forced to manufacture ways to keep him on the island.” The name of where he lives, Sehaven, implies that it is a ‘haven surrounded by sea.’ The audience is shown a birds aye view of Seahaven, to demonstrate how enclosed it really is by the ocean. When Truman was a child his father drowned on a fishing trip, causing him to have a fear of the sea, and turning a ‘haven surrounded by sea’ into ‘somewhere which keeps me safe from the sea’. This phobia aided in preventing Truman from trying to leave his home.

There are a couple of instances where Truman does attempt to get out of Seahaven. In one of these, he tries to leave by car, but is “blocked at every turn.” The audience is shown a bird’s eye view of Truman driving around what appears to be a very quiet area, with not many people around. As he turns into a street, planning to leave Seahaven, the audience is shown a long shot of a sudden traffic jam appearing. This shows that the creators will do what they must to prevent Truman from leaving, even if it is out of the ordinary.

Truman is also imprisoned by his friends, family and community, who subtly discourage him from leaving. Seahaven is often regarded as “the best place on Earth.” When Truman is talking to his friend Marlon about wanting to get away, Marlon attempts to persuade him not to leave. He questions why he would want to go away from somewhere as perfect as Seahaven, while the audience is shown a mid shot of a beautiful sunset at the same time, emphasising what Marlon is saying. Everything that the people close to Truman say...
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