Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dear Truman Burbank

Truman Burbank, 
C/o Christof 
C/o Andrew Niccol, 
The Truman Show

Dear Truman,

Being an intensely private person, I feel a lot of sympathy for you, forced as you were to live your life, LIVE!, under the relentless gaze of a billions-strong worldwide audience, 24x7x365xYour entire lifetime. Of course, for the greater part, you were unaware that you were the object of so much curiosity, and that is no mean consolation. 

For you, all the world was truly a stage with thousands of hidden cameras watching your every move, and hundreds of set decorators and actors sharing screen space with you, the clueless star, the only one who was spontaneous and real.

The producer tried every cheap trick to control you. He “killed” your “father” in a “storm” to create in you a phobia of the “ocean” and to dissuade you from leaving the giant set that you thought was your “hometown”. He created news stories and commercials to extol the virtues of staying home and warn you of the dangers of traveling. When you fell in love with an extra, Sylvia, who sought to enlighten you about the truth, she was made to disappear.

When you finally caught on to what was happening (a studio light falling from the artificial night sky just outside your house gave the game away), I cheered for you, as the pieces slowly began to fall into place. As you realized that your wife was mouthing advertising spiel, and that the same people were crossing your paths at the same time every day. Once your car radio picked up a conversation between the show’s crew as they tracked your movements.

Your realization that none of your experiences were genuine was heartbreaking. Even as your audience watched you, they rooted for you, hoping you’d beat the system.

After that, they couldn’t hold you back even though they tried. You struggled to get out of their constructed reality, to be a True-Man, not a mere pawn in their game. As you told them, “You never had a camera in my head!”

Your repeated efforts to leave town failed. The producer wasn’t about to let his golden goose get away so easily. He had no qualms about having you actually killed to prevent you from leaving. His justification was that you were born in front of a live audience, so if required he could make you die in front of billions of viewers (or is it voyeurs?). But you showed your strength of will in overcoming your fear of the water.

We live in a strange world. Today there are many who willingly opt to be a part of the artifice-ridden circus that is a reality show. I commend you for having the courage to turn your back on the safe reality that you were familiar with in order to explore life outside it. Even after the producer warned you that there was no more truth outside.

You deserve your freedom.

Welcome to the real world, and in case, "I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night."


  1. Now this is a show I haven't watched. Will have to look it up.

  2. Haven't seen this show but what a tragedy! And that too from a media they control our lives!

  3. I love this movie. It's certainly my favourite Jim Carrey movies.

    Though I do enjoy the reality TV shows that require competition, Survivor, Big Brother and Amazing Race, I get your point for sure.

    I'm not sure I'd want to have a small portion of my life, displayed for all to see. Certainly not my entire life.



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