One of the biggest questions I have in life is, “Why the heck did I just watch The Truman Show for the first time?”.
I should’ve watched it for the first time when it came out in 1998 when I was two years old, instead of watching it at twenty-two. But alas, I want to be grateful for finding this gem of a film at all.
Every human needs to watch this movie. Please do so if you have not, then report back. The entire premise of the movie amazes me, but one scene in particular left a profound impact on me. It is the scene with Christof’s interview. Christof is the creator of the show, and the interviewer asks him why he thinks Truman is just now getting close to discovering the true nature of his world. Christof answers, “We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented. Its as simple as that.”
What a claim. We believe what we see. What we interact with on a daily basis. This is our reality. Nothing more.
However, the entire point of the film is to prove that humans don’t have to accept the reality of the world with which they are presented. Humans enjoy the capability of asking “why?”. We are not purely instinctive animals or robots, but rational creatures willing to investigate the nature of reality. Not blindly accept it. We may very well wake up one morning and ask why we are here. Why things are the way they are. And if there is something more beyond the appearances of everything.
This is what Truman does in the movie. Ultimately, he gets to the bottom of things. Inside of him is this restlessness because he believes that his world with which he lives in is not the world in its entirety. He believes there’s more out there. And he seeks it.
Later in the interview, an angry caller scolds Christof for keeping Truman in this world as a prisoner instead of setting him free into the actual world. Christof responds, “He could leave at anytime. If his was more than just a vague ambition, if he was absolutely determined to discover the truth, there’s no way we could prevent him.”
The end of the movie reveals Truman’s achievement in this journey to the truth, and proves that his want to know what else is out there was more than a vague ambition. It was a true desire. The desire to know reality in its truthfulness is inherent to each human. The only way to live as a fully alive person, is to live fully in life. Not in a disillusioned world. Not just in a materialistic world containing only that with which you are presented. But, in a world with all its factors. No exclusions. The human person will bear any storm, fight any battle, and travel to the ends of the earth to discover truth. The truth of who they are. The truth of where they are. And the truth of why they are.
“Life is hunger, thirst, and passion for an ultimate object, which looms over the horizon, and yet always lies beyond it. When this is recognized, man becomes a tireless searcher.” -Luigi Giussani