From CNN's "Truman" review by Paul Tatara:
"What the story should be about, if it wants to make any kind of satirical point, is that country full of bozos who sit there watching Truman instead of living their own lives. But God forbid you should start dissecting that mindset. It might upset the people sitting in the theater (who are getting bigger and better voyeuristic jollies in the comfort of their own living rooms every day), and, when that happens, there goes your box office.
"Truman's TV-viewing audience, who we get nothing but cursory glances at, are simply blobs staring at a tube. The effect, from a movie theater seat, is of vacant people watching vacant people watching vacant people."
From the Salon review by James Poniewozik:
"At the heart of so much criticism on 'The Truman Show' is a frustration with criticism itself. Increasingly convinced that any critique of the pop-culture monoliths is simply absorbed by them and makes them stronger, the 'Truman' pundits hope against hope that the movie can strike a blow from within the Media-Corporation-Society biodome. As these commentators drive "The Truman Show" inexorably toward 'Forrest Gump'-style iconization, do me a favor and remember one thing: It was a fine, complex movie once, before it got turned into an op-ed piece."
...and a letter to Salon in reaction to their
from Katherine J, Florey:
"But that's just the start of this movie's problems. The plot is insultingly sloppy, on matters small (what possible accident on the set would result in rain falling only over Truman?) and large (upon learning that everything he's known is a lie, why doesn't Truman experience a more profound dislocation?). Rather than being savvy about ad-driven culture, the film is embarrassingly out of touch: If advertising were really as blatant as 'The Truman Show's' ham-handed 'product placements,' it wouldn't be so insidious."
Part of the Salon letter from Ken Sanes:
Typically, the characters in these stories -- and often the societies they live in -- are trapped in prisons disguised as ideal places. An entire society may be in an enclosed, high-tech city of self-indulgence that is really a death camp, as in the movie "Logan's Run." Or it may be stuck in a shared, drug-induced hallucination of a world of futuristic conveniences that covers up the fact that the actual surroundings are in a state of collapse, as in the book "The Futurological Congress."
As the main characters realize that things aren't what they appear to be, they try to make an escape, only to be blocked by malevolent simulators and high-tech manipulators who are intent on keeping them inside. In the end, they often break free and they free the societies that are trapped as well.