An important incident in The Truman Show

We are all busy writing (or marking!) essays so I may post a few for your consideration. Here is a Level One essay – what do you think?

Describe ONE important incident at the end of the text. Explain how verbal/and or visual features were used to show that this character was important.

In the film ‘The Truman show’, directed by Peter Weir an important incident at the end of the film was when Truman Burbank, the main character, chose to escape from the safety of his controlled and fake life in Seahaven and rediscover his exploring spirit to find his true love Sylvia. Visual and verbal features assist in highlighting how this incident was important through costume change, cinematography and the dialogue between Truman and Christof in the final sequence.

Truman made the important decision to escape from Seahaven and this was shown to be an important incident through costume change. At the beginning of the film Truman is perceived as being a controlled and naïve character because although he has chosen his own costume it has been in a controlled and limited environment. The audiences learn this as they discover that Truman is actually the ‘star’ of one of the biggest reality shows made. At the end of the film Truman loses his insurance sales man uniform and is dresses in a thematically generic costume of dark and masculine clothing. This visual feature is important in illustrating that leaving is an important incident because it portrays that Truman is a changed person, and is gained control of his life.

Throughout Weir’s film the Truman show, cinematography is used to highlight that the important incident of Truman leaving was important. We are first introduced to Truman through a rapid zoom out an extreme close up, as he talks to himself in the bath room mirror. This illustrates to the audience that he is somewhat immature and bored with his life. High angled shots used to emphasize his vulnerability and it is the change to low angled shots which show he has gained his personality back. Through the use of cinematography, Truman shows the audience his willingness to escape his circular structured life and this is important as it influences his decision to overcome his paralyzing fear of the sea and sail to the exit of Seahaven. The important incident of Truman leaving Seahaven to rediscover this exploring spirit and find his truelove Sylvia is emphasised by the dialogue between Truman and Christof in the final sequence. The catchy phrase of ‘In case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night’ is said for the last time before transmission is ceased and this not anymore conveys that Truman is a man of habit and routine but that he has grown up. Truman also said ‘you never had a camera in my head’, to the creator of the show Christof, and this illustrated that Truman found strength to resist the power of the media. The use of dialogue was important in showing the audience that although Truman is free he has for once gained control of his life and he is determined to find his true love Sylvia.

Visual and verbal features such as costume, cinematography and dialogue assisted in highlighting that Truman’s decision to leave Seahaven was an important incident in the text. Throughout the film Truman changed as a character and it is through these features that the audience learns that he is now a strong and determined person, who can achieve what he sets out for, finding his true love.





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