The film is based on a T.V. show about a man whose life is film and is on the air twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Truman Burbank does not know that his hometown is in fact one big T.V. set. When Truman was born a T.V. corporation adopted him and even the birth was shown live on air.
All of the other people in the show are Hollywood actors. This includes his wife, best friend and even his parents.
Gradually, Truman begins to realise what is happening and the film shows how he finds out and what he does when he finds out.
The set of the show has five thousand micro-cameras. They have to use small cameras so that there is not camera crews running about the set. These cameras are placed in his car, rooms of his house and everywhere he might go.
The control room for the show is based in the sun during the day and the moon at night. This means that the producer of the show, Christof, can look down on the town and creates the impression that he is God-like.
During the film it is a mixture of events that makes Truman realise that he is living in a T.V. show. At the beginning of the film a studio light falls from the sky. On Trumans way to work the radio says how an aircraft in trouble had started shedding parts over the town, Truman accepts this and carries on driving to work.
The next part of the film which is a bit suspicious is when he on the beach and it begins to rain. At first it only rains on him and the spot where he is sitting and when he moves its dry until the shower follows him. He finds this strange but doesn’t think anymore about it. After this it rains properly.
Truman discovers the truth because of his desire to explore and see the world. His wife, Meryl, and his best friend, Marlon, tell that he lives in the best place in the world and couldn’t leave his financial obligations.
Truman has a flashback to when he was at school. He falls in love with a girl called Lauren Garland. She tries to tell Truman what is going on before she is dragged away. I think that Truman has a small inkling that something is going on but he has no proof so carries on with his life. Lauren, or Silvia (her real name), is dragged away and it is said that she has gone to Fiji. This is where Truman wants to go and find her.
The point in the film when he realises that something is defiantly happening is when he is driving to work and the radio changes channel to what all the actors are hearing. They are being told where Truman is and what he is doing so that they can get into position for when he gets to work. This is the point where he sits back and looks at the people are acting around him and he realises that there is something strange going on. He gets up from his seat and runs into a building, there he tries to get in a lift but when the doors he sees that it has no back to it and in fact leads to where the actors are having lunch. He watches as stage crew put the back of the lift where it should have been. Security then grabs Truman and throws him out of the building.
After all this he goes to his best friend and tells him what has just happened. Marlon tells him that nothing is going on. Truman seems to take this in but it is still fresh in his mind.
In the next scene he is looking through a photo-album and comes across a wedding photo. When he looks at it carefully he sees a small camera glinting on Meryls wedding ring. This arouses his suspicions again that something strange is happening but he still doesn’t know what.
The films next big scene is when Truman follows Meryl to work. She is a nurse and works at the hospital. When Truman gets there he tries to find her but is stopped by nurses and porters. He gets through these and sees her helping in an operation. As the surgeon is only an actor, as are all the other people in the room, he panics and cuts the patient with the scalpel. As the patient is not anaesthetised, she jumps. Truman sees all this and now begins to realise that there is also something strange about the people around him as well.
After the incident at the hospital, he goes to the travel agents. Here there are posters all over the walls saying how dangerous it is to fly. This is strange to find in travel agents because they would normally try and encourage you to fly, not discourage you. The travel agent tells Truman that there is not a flight to Fiji for at least a month. This buys the creator of the show, Christof, some time to take his mind off leaving the island.
He then goes to the bus station to get a bus to Chicago, but the bus breaks down and doesn’t leave. All the things so far put together means that Truman knows something is going on and for some reason something or someone is stopping him from leaving the island.
He the sit s in his car and watches the people passing by. He notices that the same people go round and round the block all the time. Him and his wife then drive, Truman goes round a roundabout and sees that there is no traffic down any of the streets but as soon as he goes down one cars pull out from the side streets and creates a traffic jam so that he can’t get through. He thought that would happen and is doing different things to test what is happening to see if he can work it all out. The next test is that he goes back to the roundabout and takes the same turning he has just come from. This is when he sees that all the traffic has disappeared in a matter of seconds.
He plans to get off the island by driving over the bridge linking the island to the mainland. The producers of the show set it up so that his father drowned when Truman was eight. This made him terrified of water and therefore kept him on the island. He drives and stops at the beginning of the bridge. He overcomes his fear by closing his eyes and making Meryl do the steering. He does this to see what will happen now he has left the island. The producers try to stop him by saying that there is a forest fire but Truman carries on driving. The next obstacle is a nuclear meltdown at a power plant. Truman stops the car to talk to a police officer that tells him that he has to turn back. When Truman says thanks, the officer replies with your welcome Truman. This sets alarm bells ringing once again because how did the police officer know his name. After this he jumps out of the car and makes a run for it through the forest. He pursued by the actors at the plant and is caught.
Truman is then returned to his home by the police. His attempt to leave the island did not work, so now he knows that for some reason he is being kept on the island but he still does not know that he is on a T.V. show
As he cannot leave the island he begins to test Meryl to see if she is genuine. She doesn’t know what to do so she advertises some “Mocoa”. This is a way the producers have decided to keep the show running by advertising products in the show. Truman sees straight through the act and asks her what’s happening. This is when she gets really agitated and grabs the “Chiefs Pal”, Truman now knows that whatever is going on Meryl is in on it as well. He grabs Meryl and takes the “Chiefs Pal” off of her, she then looks into the camera and shouts, “do something,”. Truman know also knows that the house is wired up. Marlon then knocks on the door, he enters the house and Meryl gives him a big hug and says, “how can they expect her to work under these conditions, its unprofessional”.
Marlon takes Truman out and Truman tells him that he thinks somehow the world evolves around him and everyone seems to be in on it. Marlon tells him that they have been friends since school and if everyone were in on it, then he would have to be to. The audience knows that this is a lie but Truman doesn’t so accepts it for the meantime. Marlon then tells Truman that he has found Trumans father and that he didn’t really drown after all. The creator, Christof, writes this in to try and take Trumans mind off of his suspicions that something is going on.
At this time he knows that his house is wired up with cameras, everything he sees around him set up and everyone is fake. Because of this he begins to play up to it but still does not know why all of this is happening to him.
The last part of the film is how he makes his escape. After Meryl leaves him, he moves into the basement and moves thing around. This means that he can sneak behind things to get out of the house without being noticed. Christof realises after a time that he has escaped and sends Marlon over to find out if Truman is still in the house or not. Marlon finds a plastic snowman in the bed and a tape recorder playing a snoring noise to simulate him being asleep. Marlon looks for him in the basement and discovers a hole in the top of the cupboard leading out on to the lawn. This is where Truman escaped.
The rest of the actors and backstage crew begin a full-scale search of the island for him but he is nowhere to be found. Christof then realises that they are not searching the sea for him. Truman realises that this is the last place they would look for him and his best chance to escape and find out what is really going on.
To try and stop him from escaping they localise a storm above the boat. Truman holds on for dear life. He then begins to mock the producers but at this point he still does not know that he is live on T.V. When it looks like Truman is nearly killed by the storm, Christof stops it and lets him sail on.
Eventually Truman hits the side of the studio and at this point realises that he has been enclosed on the island all his life. He walks round the side and finds some steps leading up to a door with “Exit” written on it. Just as he opens the door, Christof talks to him. Christofs voice booms from the sky as if he was God. He tells Truman about the show and that he is the star of it. It is only now that Truman knows that he has been living in a T.V. show all his life. Christof tries to encourage Truman to stay in the world he has created because the world outside is “deceitful” and he is safer to stay where he is.
The film finishes with Truman walking out of the show through the door and then goes to peoples reactions to this at home, Christof is obviously upset to see Truman leave because he has been watching him all his life and created the world he lived in for thirty years.