Believe it or not, God can speak through Hollywood movies. Without even intending to, secular filmmakers often include values and themes that symbolize Christian truths on a deeper level than many films that specifically are marketed for Christians. The key is watching a movie with spiritual eyes and letting God reveal a deeper meaning. One such movie is Jim Carrey’s The Truman Show.
Truman Burbank has the perfect life. Every morning, the sun rises on his beautiful little town, and on the way to his ideal job, he is greeted by his many friends. In the evening, he comes home to eat dinner with his beautiful wife, or he might hang out with his best friend since childhood. And when Truman goes to bed, he can rest peacefully, for an almost identical day awaits him in the morning. It’s an assured routine, filled with love, friendship, happiness. But somehow, it’s all too perfect. Truman yearns for something more.
He doesn’t know exactly what’s missing from his life, but he begins to pick up on things that just seem…off. Curious, Truman experiments with what happens when he breaks his usual routine with the unexpected. “I’m being spontaneous!” he yells as he recklessly drives around town, his terrified wife in tow. He tries to leave town multiple times only to be met with unavailable flights and literal roadblocks. The more Truman tries to break free, the more his world tries to hold him down.
What Truman doesn’t know is that he is the star of a reality show that follows his every move. The town, his friends, his wife, his entire life, is fake. And it’s all controlled by Christof, the money-hungry creator of the show, who becomes desperate to keep Truman in his pretend world as soon as he begins to question his reality. But the more Christof tries to keep Truman prisoner, the more Truman fights to break free.
The fact is, if Truman is determined enough, there’s nothing Christof can do to keep him from discovering the truth. Christof himself admits this. And yet he seems confident that Truman will ultimately accept his world as the only reality, because to break free would be to destroy all the comfort Truman has ever known. But Christof severely underestimates Truman.
When Truman eventually finds his way to the edge of his world and is about to walk through the door into freedom, Christof makes one last attempt to keep him prisoner. He begins to talk to Truman in a calm, smooth voice, telling him that this world is better than the world beyond – the real world. Why not stay within this safe world?
But Truman makes the decision to step out into the unknown – into his new reality, which is the truth. Yes, it might be hard, but Truman was meant to embrace a full, rich life, not the counterfeit one he was born into.
Seeing The Truman Show Through Spiritual Eyes
On the surface, The Truman Show may appear to be just another movie, and a little off-the-wall one at that. But when watched through spiritual eyes, the message of this movie is extremely profound.
Through a spiritual lense, Christof represents Satan, and Truman represents any human who is stuck in a place of not living his or her life to the fullness that God intended. Satan tries to keep us in a life of comfort and ease so we won’t discover what our true potential is if we recklessly abandoned our old life and embraced God’s calling. Even though it is the harder path, it is the life for which we were born. And once we’re determined to break out of the fake world and into God’s reality, there’s nothing the enemy can do to stop us.
The world that Christof created for Truman to inhabit was comfortable, but it was not a fulfilling existence. In the same way, Satan will offer us an alternative lifestyle to keep us from living fully for God. Comfortable? Yes. Unsatisfying? Absolutely. We were meant to live beyond the comfort of complacency and allow God’s plan to play out in our lives, even though it will certainly be out of our comfort zone.
Christof does everything in his power to keep Truman prisoner. His ability to change the weather or orchestrate Truman’s day SEEMED all-powerful. But in reality, when you look beyond the walls of Truman’s world and into Christof’s control room, nothing Christof does is real. The rain, the sun, the traffic; it’s all controlled by buttons and levers. When Truman was absolutely determined to break free, there was nothing Christof could do to stop him. It may have appeared to be Christof who held all the power over Truman’s life, actually, Truman possessed all the power to change his life and break Christof’s influence on him.
We have the power to break Satan’s hold on our lives. Everything he does is all smoke and mirrors, and so the life he wants us to lead is shallow and simply a lie. God wants us to move beyond the confining walls of the enemy and follow Him into the great unknown: the REAL world.
It would be a great thing for Christians to watch The Truman Show with spiritual eyes. It’s a well-made, thought-provoking family film that, when seen through spiritual eyes, could spark discussions about breaking out of a fake, complacent mindset and discovering true identity in God.