The Truman Show came out in 1998. It starred Jim Carrey, was written by Andrew Niccol and directed by Peter Weir. It's a film about a man, Truman Burbank. He was picked to be the main character of a TV-show, but he doesn't just play the main character, he is the main character. His whole life has taken place on a set in Los Angeles and everybody around him is an actor.
The film is about him realizing that everything around him is fake and trying to break free. I recently re-watched the film and I noticed something. The story was very similar to another story I heard more recently, the story told in the band Muse's latest album, Drones.
The story of someone trying to break free
Drones is the story of a woman who has become dead inside but is keeping up a facade. She's taken in by the government and is trained to be a killing machine, a human drone. But she breaks free and revolts against the powers keeping her captive.
There are already similarities. So I'm gonna go through each song on the album and compare it the truman show.
1. Dead Inside
Dead Inside describes how the protagonist is worshipping her lover, almost in a religous way. But when she gets closer, she realizes that her lover is actually very cold. To the touch, the person is warm, keeping up the facade of being happy while being dead on the inside. The protagonist is almost loveless which makes makes them dead inside.
How does this dark story relate to the Truman Show? Drones is obviously very different in tone, but bare with me, it's gonna be like that alot.
Being dead inside. In Truman's scenario being dead inside could be meant more as being empty and not being fullfilled, which we see in the film when Truman starts dreaming about traveling to Fiji.
2. [Drill Sergeant]
This is part on the album is actually spoken. It's a dialogue between a drill sergeant and a recruit. The drill sergeant screams the the recruit that if he's disobeys, he will be punished, this will lead to the point where the protagonist won't resist anymore. The drill sergeant screams that if the protagonist leaves the base, they will be hunted down and have their ass thrown in jail.The drill sergeant is saying that he owns this person and they can't escape.
In The Truman Show it is both more obvious and more subtle at the same time. The creator of the show, Christof, very obviously feels like he owns Truman, keeping Truman in a bubble his whole life and feeling like he can do whatever he wants with Truman's life with no backlash except a few angry watchers and bad reviews.
In Psycho, the protagonist is brainwashed by the military. They turn her into "A fucking psycho" She now completely belongs the military with and has become a "psycho killer" or human drone.
This is part is could be related to Truman's whole life, him being controlled by Christof and the producers.
In mercy, the protagonist know that she's no longer the person she was before, she's lost herself. She has "fallen on the inside" She wishes someone would save her and that the powers controlling her mind will show her mercy. She tries to fight back against "the power that be". She is that she's "running from the ghosts and shadows the world just disavows" Her monsters so to speak.
The whole film is about Truman realizing that it's all fake and calling out for help, not getting any.
The protagonist loses her empathy has is going to war using drones. She now become a player in the game she was trying to break free from.
This may seem very far away from the Truman Show, but I relate this to the part in the movie where Truman seems to once again abandon the idea that it's all fake.
6. The Handler
In The Handler the protagonist no longer wants to be obey, no longer wants to be controlled by her handler and that she's no longer "afraid to walk alone"
In the film Truman doesn't want to be bound by the person he thinks is his wife, his job, his fears or the producers.
This part is actually an excerpt of a speech by John F. Kennedy delivered to the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 27, 1961. JFK talks about freedom but is also an ironic metafor to the situation of the world today.
This just relates to The Truman Show in it's talk about freedom and how Truman so desperatly wants to be free from the bubble in which his life has taken place.
This song is about the protagonist breaking free from the chains that held her back and controlled her, she is defecting. She promises to overthrow the government that created the monster she became. She speaks about the dictator as being a "yellow belly" (a coward), "green minded" (dirty minded or greedy) and having blue blood which is a reference to someone with royal blood.
This is very obvious. Truman in the film rejects the reality he's been tought to believe in and tries to escape.
In Revolt, the protagonist believes in herself and inspires others to "make the world what they want" She revolts against the powers that kept her captive, she keeps figting even though the government is stronger.
Truman in the film also revolts. He takes control of his life and literally sets sail for the horizon. Even when Christof and the producers tries to force him back to the life he had before, but he keeps fighting back.
The protagonist is tired of fighting, but she's now found someone who loves her and she loves him or her too. "From that moment they will never be alone. They're bound together, now and forever. The lonliness is gone" The protagonist is no longer the drone. This is end of this woman's story.
I relate this to the final scene of The Truman Show, when Truman is talking to Christof and says "In case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night" his signature catchphrase from the show. This is him choosing to leave the set he's lived on behind and stepping out at the same time taunting Christof a little. The one he's found that truly loves him is the girl who planted the seed of doubt in his mind form the beginning, Sylvia.
11. The Globalist
As I said earlier, Aftermath is the end of the woman's story, the Globalist is the story of another man, just like the woman before. He was too dead inside and defected, but instead of fighting against the system and finding love in the end, he becomes part of the system. Along with the old dictator, the man becomes a new dictator. He inflicts his own pain upon others. Together, the old dictator and the new, destroy the world and are the only too left. In the end the new dictator excuses himself by saying "I just wanted, I just needed to be loved"
I see similarities between this person and Christof, the creator of the show. He isn't just like Truman, he wasn't cast to be himself so to speak, but I relate Christof to the final line of the song most of all, "I just wanted, I just needed to be loved" I think, based on the final scene, that i's very obvious that Christof sees himself as Truman's father since he's watched him grow up and has written all the characters around him. Since he spent 30 years in this big bubble, he can't have any other family. I think Christof, just like the man in the song, just needed to be loved.
In this song, the new dictator is being haunted and judged by the souls he killed.
This I relate to the backlash that Christof and the producers must get after Truman leaves.