One of my favorite movies is the Truman Show. It didn’t get my attention at the time it came out, and I’m pretty sure it was considered a flop at the box office. I don’t remember when I saw it for the first time, but I know it was when I was living in Turkey.
What I do remember is how it made me feel.
It reminded me so much of my reality at the time. All of these people watching and waiting to see what Truman would do next. Then there were those people who manipulated his reality to cause him to make certain decisions. He married Meryl even though he was attracted to Lauren, because the producers wanted that to be how the story went. Even his best friend, Marlon, was not who Truman thought he was.
Somedays I felt like Truman…wanting to escape my reality and do something crazy…see something new. Somedays I felt like Marlon…pretending to be someone I wasn’t for the sake of the show. And somedays I felt like the producers of The Truman Show…manipulating events to make sure things happened like I wanted them to happen.
One of the most interesting characters to me was Christof. He was the creator of the show and some of his lines were genius. For example…
- We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented, it’s as simple as that.
- If his was more than just a vague ambition, if he [Truman] was absolutely determined to discover the truth, there’s no way we could prevent him.
- “I’ve given Truman the chance to lead a normal life. The world, the place you live in is the sick place. Seahaven is the way the world should be.”
I felt as though he was both describing me and challenging me to do something about it. I loved how, at the end of the movie, Truman spoke into the open air to Christof and said, “You never had a camera in my head.” That was so powerful to me. My thoughts were my own to sort out.
And then I would think about that button that Lauren was wearing when Truman talked to her for the first time in the library. How will it end? That was a good question and one I couldn’t begin to wrap my mind around at the time.
Like Truman, I chose to walk away from the only world I knew. And then after some time, I found my way back to the parts of it I couldn’t live without. The parts that felt like home to me. And I merged that old life with this new one in a way that is a more authentic reality. Yes, I’ve come a long way!