|“||Good morning. And In case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!||„|
|~ Truman Burbank's catchphrase.|
Truman Burbank is the main protagonist of the 1998 comedy-drama movie The Truman Show.
He was portrayed by Jim Carrey, who also played Stanley Ipkiss in The Mask, Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber, the Grinch in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Fletcher Reede in Liar Liar.
Truman Burbank was born to one of six unwanted pregnancies and was adopted by Christof, the head of a massive TV cooperation. Its unknown what happened to his biological parents. Truman was made the star of Christof's new 24/7 reality TV show, The Truman Show. Unknown to Truman, he was trapped in a fake enclosed world of Seahaven, which was built under a giant dome in Los Angeles, California where every town member were played by actors hired on the set.
Christof hired actress, Alanis Montclair to star as Truman's mother, Angela Burbank, and an actor named Walter Moore was starred to play Truman's father, Kirk Burbank. Although Truman loved them, he did not know they were his foster parents and they kept his hometown of Seahaven a secret by the orders of Christof, who became obsessed watching Truman's every move.
Truman developed a dream of becoming an explorer, which he never gave up as he grew from his childhood to adult years. In an attempt to stop Truman from leaving, Christof engineered the "death" of Truman's father, Kirk in the sea in order to give Truman aquaphobia. As a result of this, Truman became feared of the water but he missed his father (not knowing he faked his death to accomplish the mission). He became friends with a boy named Marlon, played by actor Louis Coltrane, eventually becoming best friends with him.
When Truman reached his teenage years, he fell in love with an extra named Sylvia, who played Lauren, even though Christof wanted him to fall for another actress, Hannah Gill, playing the role of Meryl. Sylvia tried to tell Truman the truth of his life, Christof sent another actor, posing as Lauren's father to take her away. Truman kept Sylvia's jumper as a memento of his love for her. He eventually married Meryl but never forgot about Sylvia, who became an activist for a "Free Truman" campaign: which was hosted by some audiences who felt that Truman was treated like a prisoner than a star. Christof planned to make Truman concieve a child with Meryl, which would create another prisoner.
After 30 years of the show's success, Truman started to experience obstacles he encounters; such as a spotlight falling from the sky, radio frequency that describes his movements in his car and a homeless man who resembles his late father. Truman starts to realise that the city somehow resolves around him and he becomes suspicious of this. His relationship with Meryl gets worsened when she tries to prevent him from finding out the truth, and it causes his skepticalism to increase. Truman takes Meryl on a road trip, only to find blockades of implausible emergencies. During a talk with an actor playing a police officer, who accidentally calls Truman by his name, Truman becomes even more suspicious, even though he never seen the man before, and goes to investigate the crisis. He is stopped by actors in radiation suits and he is taken home with Meryl.
Truman starts to wonder what is going on around him and he starts to realise Meryl is part of it, despite her trying to deny everything from him. When he threatens her with a knife, Meryl breaks character, shocking Truman of what she said. Marlon walks into Truman's house to find the commotion and Meryl breaks in tears before she is removed from the show for good. Hoping to break Truman back in a controlled state, Christof re-introduces Truman to his father, Kirk, under the disguise of losing his memory in the boat incident. This brings Truman to his normal routine, except when he starts to move down into his basement after "Meryl" left.
Eventually, Truman discovers the truth of his world and decides to make an escape plan. He fools the cameras by using a dummy to hide under his bed covers and a tape recorder playing snoring sounds to make it look like he is snoozing in the basement. With the film crew, Christof and the audience fooled by this tactic, Truman escapes from the basement undetected using a manmade tunnel he dug that leads to his garden. Marlon discovers this when he is called over to Truman's house and breaks character when he says to Christof: "He's gone!", causing the crew to cut transmission for the first time of the show's history.
As a town wide search is intiated with all the actors searching for Truman, to no avial. After being forced to "cue the sun" to bring more light, Christof finds Truman sailing in a small boat, Santa Maria, having conquered his aquaphobia. With the actors having no skill to work on any boat around the area and resumming transmission, Christof creates a violent storm to try and capsize the boat, not caring if Truman dies or not, much to the horror of the crew and audience. After Truman survives, his determination causes Christof to end the storm, realising he cannot dissuade him even further.
Truman's boat reaches the end of the dome when the boat's mass pierces through the dome's painted sky. Truman comes to the realisation that he has been living inside a fake enclosed world and has been lied to the whole time. After breaking down in tears over this revelation, Truman abandons his boat and walks along a pathway to find a staircase that leads to a door marked "EXIT". He climbs up the stairs and opens the door, realising it is way out. Christof talks to him through a speaker system, trying to persuade him to stay, claiming there is no truth in the real world than the artificial one. After a moment of relfection, Truman disagrees, says his catchphase, takes a bow to his audience and leaves, finally entering the real world. The worldwide audience celebrate Truman's escape before he is reunited with Sylvia. It is presumed Truman now lives with Sylvia and becomes an explorer, which he wanted as a child, while Christof became broke and lost all his fortune.
- Adam Sandler and the late Robin Williams were considered for the role of Truman Burbank before Jim Carrey was cast.
- In a deleted scene, shows Truman riding a bike while disguising himself as a pedestrian before he makes his way to the Santa Maria boat. This was cut by the director, who wanted Truman to discover the truth of his life when he reached the end of the dome.