The Truman Show movie poster critique

The Truman Show Movie Poster relays an effective yet subtle message about the movie’s theme. When initially looking at the movie poster and trying to separate my knowledge of the actual film, I understand it to be that thousands of life experiences make up this one man’s journey. Many people make him who he is and he wouldn’t be the same if he simply stood alone. These experiences must have been positive because he looks happy and is looking up as if he is looking forward in his life. The hairstyle and glimpse of his clothing make him look like a well-to-do business man and the blue background looks like he’s in a relaxing, tropical place. It sells the movie because it looks like it will be hopeful and uplifting, but it also looks like it will accurately depict stories of real life, the people and experiences that shape everyone’s journey. People like seeing movies they can relate to, or, really happy movies that can make them temporarily forget about their own lives. That’s why the movie Marley and Me (starring Jennifer Anniston, Owen Wilson and a golden retriever) was one of the highest grossing movies during recession. It was a happy movie about a loving couple and a dog and people were looking for that joy, that happiness. The tagline “The story of a lifetime” would initially make me think he has a huge task or fear that he overcomes and it’s amazing when he finally accomplishes it. I, like many other people, want to watch a success story.

Now using my knowledge of the film, I see the poster in a few different ways. Jim Carrey is “happy” because he is blinded that his life isn’t real, instead it’s made up of staged people and situations. Even though this may not resound with the audience in a literal sense, many people feel like their life is fake or their just going through the motions. They are not really happy, instead it’s synthesized or forced. Carrey’s bliss is ignorance as his life is a nationally televised TV show. The almost unrealistic blue tropical paradise is a simulated beach town that is actually a TV studio set. Jim Carrey is an ordinary man as he is portrayed in the poster, but he’s being horribly exploited as the audience watches the fake friends, fake wife, and fake situations he gets himself into. He has nowhere to go, but he looks happy being where he is.  This poster says more about the movie than one would initially realize. Once Truman discovers that his life is one big TV show, he uses courage to get through the troubling situation. Even though all these little pictures make him up, in the end, he’s not letting that define him. The movie really is a story of a lifetime, just as the tag asserts, as it has the audience laughing, crying and rejoicing as they experience Truman’s struggle right along with him. The hopeful tone of the poster is how the audience feels at the end of the movie, triumphant. The conflict in the movie is not an easy one, and the poster makes it clear that there are many things constraining Carrey.

The semiotics of this poster include the metaphors and parallels people can draw to their own lives. They see this poster and they want that happiness. They’re not sure if Carrey’s grin is real or a façade, but they understand that sometimes it’s hard to tell that in your own life. This poster is selling an experience.

The elements and principles of design in this poster are very unique. It’s created in mosaic form. The color blue represents coolness and spirituality. Blue is a flattering coloring, making anything look good, even it it’s not real (http://char.txa.cornell.edu/).” The poster is balanced and close up on Carrey’s face. It shows the movie is all about him. He is the center of his own life, or is he? He is the center of a TV show, but he doesn’t decide his own life. His face is really big, but it’s made up of hundreds of other pictures and people. It looks as if Carrey is made up of pixels. He’s created by technology- simulated. Everything comes together to make up who he is.

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