THE TRUMAN SHOW (1998) Movie Review
Proverbs 16:9 says, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." (New Living Translation)
What would it look like if a higher power determines our plans? Determines our fears and anxieties? Controls our every move?
What if an attempt to change our own path is cause for righteous anger in stead of the gift that it is?
What if our choices are restricted to only two options: the life of a puppet or death?
What would a life void of free will look like?
Look no further than The Truman Show. This 1998 comedy is a powerful and unique story about the unsuspecting star of a reality television show. Cameras follow his every move and hundreds of extras drive his environment. Nothing except he is real, not even his marriage. His little island town, Seahaven, is an enormous stage set and his cage.
Despite Truman's security and protection, he feels a tremendous void in his life. After 30 years his enormous cage wears on him. He feels trapped.
His true passion to travel and his unknown purpose lie beyond his reach.
Sylvia, the one woman with whom he could be his true self, is ripped from him and lost in a world he can't access.
Every questionable event that occurs around him is magically excused through the news and radio.
Even the people closest to him (wife, mother, and best friend) find ways to explain their way through his questions and suspicions. Yet, not a single person truly hears him.
All the while he can't shake the feeling that the world revolves around him. It is a lonely and unsatisfying existence. Inevitably, the world around him begins to fall apart. The harder he tries to discover the truth behind his confusing cage, the more his cage fights back.
Drastic changes are made to quell his thirst. His "wife" is replaced. His "father" comes back from the dead. These changes backfire. Free from his financial responsibilities brought on by his wife and his crippling fear of water brought on by his father's death, he determines the prime opportunity to escape into the real world. To find truth. To find love. To find satisfaction.
Even at risk of his life.
However, he reaches the end of the road and earns the truth for which he'd been searching. Thus, he faces a final obstacle: temptation. He could either
- stay in his cage where he would be safe and secure, or
- he could enter an alien world where unknown dangers await.
In spite of the danger and insecurity, he chooses a life of free will. He chooses to follow his passion. He chooses love. He chooses to LIVE.
Let us look to Truman with gratitude. The Good Lord would never strip us of our free will. It is what makes us human. It gives our choices meaning. Only the gift of free will can bring us the gift of salvation, because salvation is a choice we must make.
As it says in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." (NLT)
This is a short life. What choices will you make?