Recently i saw the movie - The Truman Show. Very thought provoking movie irrespective of the fact that the lead is played by funnyman Jim Carrey. now jim carrey is a brilliant actor. i love him. but i have always associated him with ace ventura and the mask. so seeing him in a drama was quite a revelation. It was that kind of a movie which doesnt leave your thoughts after it has ended. it did not have any direct social message but still it was there in my thoughts for a long time afterwards. before i start elaborating, for those of you who have not had the privilege of watching it, here is a short summary -
The movie is about a man named Truman. He is a pretty normal guy, your average guy-next-door. the only different thing about his life is that it not real. You see since Truman was a little baby he was being filmed...24 /7... and he is completely unaware about it. his life is one big reality show watched by thousands where he is the main star and he doesn't even know about it. (no, it is not like Big Boss. he is not a willing participant, instead he doesn't even know that whatever he is doing, he is saying, in short his every move is being watched by thousands of voyeurs!) Everything about him and around him is constructed... the town he lives in is a massive domed set, his parents, his friends even his wife are actors playing a part! all the people in his small town are character artists! and poor truman is living his life thinking that his world is the real world. you may ask that how is it possible? he never went out of his town? he didn't. the town is surrounded by water and the director of the show, christof, had very cleverly implanted in his mind, through various incidents in his life, a fear of the sea. truman was also discouraged to travel by his parents and teachers as it was deemed unsafe. And when his father died by drowning in water, his fear and resolve to never leave his little haven strengthened. but, he eventually does figure out that there is something wrong about his life and after a lot of trying on his part, he manages to leave the set and finally live his life... on his own terms.
The director of the truman show ( the show in the movie and not the movie itself) was trying to play God. he orchestrated every circumstance in Truman's life. I am sure he got a kick but he didn't succeed. the world that he created was discarded by the only person it was created for. in the end truman leaves the known for the unknown...director tells him the benefits of staying inside the dome, that the world outside is not what he expects, that truman is not ready to face it, that he will fail and come crawling back into the dome. but truman still chose to leave... only because he wanted freedom. freedom to make his own decisions, freedom to experience life as it is.
As i said, this movie really got me thinking... what if our life is just like truman's? what if we are caged inside a dome and viewed by people outside? what if everything around us is fake and the world is something entirely different? What if we are being filmed all the time? our every move, our every reaction is being recorded and being viewed my thousands of people? and then other thought came to my mind...what if the friends and family i so depend upon are just actors who are paid to be a part of my life? who are paid to laugh and cry with me? scary thought!!
and what if you indeed find out that everything around you is a sham... would you have the courage to do what truman did and step out of the dome / set? would you give up your comfort zone, something that you are familiar with for something that you have no idea about? would you take that risk? Would you step out that door?
you know we may not be living in a literal dome (thank god for that!) but all of us do have our own safe zones. the area where we are comfortable, where we know what is happening and what will happen... a place in your life that gives you that feeling of security... it doesnt have to be a place per se, it could be situations, for example, your job. you have been doing the same thing for years, you know everyone, you know your work, you know what will happen. in short you are comfortable in the daily routine. you never want to leave it... quite understandable. what's the point of trying something about which you have no idea about, what if you fail? what if you don't like it? hmm...but i believe that until and unless we take risks and leave our comfort zone we wont be able to reach anywhere. Think... if columbus hadn't left his house, america would never be discovered (granted, he thought it was India, but still the point is he took a risk!)
facing the unknown also gives you an insight into yourself, your hidden strengths, your reactions to situations over which you have no control. living life as you know is definitely easier but is it enough?
i would leave you with all these questions... do comment what do you think...
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