With detailed textual references discuss, analyse and review the key but cinematic features displayed in

Authors Avatar

English Essay                18/12/2007

With detailed textual references discuss, analyse and review the key but cinematic features displayed in “Pleasantville” and “The Truman Show”

        The following essay, which I have composed, is based on two important films of the last decade.  Their titles are “Pleasantville” and “The Truman Show”.  Starting with the “Pleasantville”, the general overview of the film’s plot gets more complicated the further you get into it.  It brings up several issues all of which I have commented on in this essay.

        The film starts with two teenagers, David and Jennifer.  David has an addiction to old reruns of a fifties sitcom also by the name of “Pleasantville”.  Jennifer is the complete opposite of her brother, leading a rather promiscuous lifestyle.  During an argument, their TV remote is broken, meaning they are unable to watch their television.  The argument is between David who wants to watch the Pleasantville marathon and Jennifer who wants to watch a film with her date who is coming round in a few minutes.  Then a supernatural event occurs as a TV repairman rings the doorbell seconds after the breakage.

        The TV repairman has a common interest with David in Pleasantville.  As he sees David is a die-hard fan, the repairman gives David a special remote which transports them into their television, into Pleasantville.  Pleading with the repairman to transport them back, he gets upset and leaves them in.  Because of this they have to stay stuck in the roles of Bud and Mary-Sue, two of the shows characters and have to continue in their characters lives.

        “The Truman Show”, as mentioned before, is also a major film in the last decade.  The general overview of the plot is simple for viewers to recognise throughout the film.  Set a few years into the future, a fictional television company called Omnicom adopt an unwanted pregnancy in order to produce a television show.  This television show would be live twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week filming this unwanted pregnancy’s life.  They name the baby Truman Burbank, and the show, “The Truman Show”.  The film starts when Truman is in his mid to late twenties with an ideal job, wife and home in the town which is Seahaven.  I will relate more to this town in the next section.  All this is, from actors to the weather, is controlled by Christof, the director of the show.  He controls everything around Truman and will be talked about more in the next section.

        The towns of Pleasantville and Seahaven, the sets for both films are similar in ways and different in others.  The main similarity is how both are supposed to be ‘perfect worlds’. Pleasantville, the first perfect world, is based on what most American fifties sitcoms were truly like.  They also repeat re-runs of these shows even today just like Pleasantville ‘the TV show’ is in the film.  These sitcoms usually featured wholesome American families consisting of a father, mother and two children, a boy and a girl.  Their lives were basically the same.  The two children would grow up, get married and have children whilst the husband would go to work and the wife would stay at home.  In Pleasantville the town, this is what the population’s lives are really like.  They also have tacky phrases such as “Honey, I’m Home” used by the father coming home from work.

Join now!

 As David and Jennifer find out, in order for these lives to exist, Pleasantville is missing certain things.  There are no toilets, everyone sleeps in single beds, no one knows anything about sex, and there are no fires (the only job the fire brigade do is rescue cats!).  Everyone follows a day-to-day routine and is trapped in it.  This world changes though, but for the better or worse?

        The town of Seahaven is basically a huge set for “The Truman Show” (the TV Show) contained inside a big dome, visible from space.  This world is extremely complex in inside and ...

This is a preview of the whole essay