Review Detail

9.6 23 10
FanMix August 28, 2022 4213
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Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
*Disclaimer: Nothing in this review is meant to disparage the editor's immense skill and effort. I appreciate both, regardless of my feelings about the final product.*

I really wish I loved this edit. The concept is genius, and largely well-executed. I sincerely congratulate the editor on the creativity, passion, and technical expertise that obviously went into this edit. Unfortunately, its shortcomings are such that I cannot give my recommendation.

First and foremost, I disagree strongly with the decision to fluctuate between color and grayscale. The intention, as stated by the editor, was to use "a high-contrast black and white filter for 'hidden camera' shots". With all due respect to the editor, I feel this was a bad choice, executed poorly. The decision as to which shots were from a "hidden camera" seemed to be completely arbitrary, if not flat-out nonsensical.

The editor has graciously provided the first ten minutes of this edit on Vimeo, so I'll use some examples from that footage. A little after 6:00, Truman passes a billboard with a hidden camera on it, (the black ball in the top center). The twins speak to Truman, and even push him against the billboard aggressively to ensure they are visible on the hidden camera. But when the viewer's POV switches to that camera's perspective at 6:14, the footage remains in color. Other shots have the exact opposite problem, having been converted to grayscale when it cannot possibly be "hidden camera" footage. For instance, at 9:41, the hidden camera providing the audience's POV seems to be floating invisibly in the empty sky above Truman.

Of course, all of this ignores the issue with the very premise of including conspicuous "hidden camera" footage when the explicit intention of the edit is to remove "all explicit references and evidence to the viewer that Truman is part of an elaborate reality show centered around his life". If the goal is to create mystery behind whether or not Truman's entire life is being filmed, it seems counterintuitive to give the audience that exact information from the outset.

However, I insist upon ending this review on a positive note, and there is much to admire about what the editor has accomplished. On a technical level, the editing was flawless, with the sole and understandable exception of the driving sequence (which the editor was forced to accelerate due to a soundtrack bleed). The "new" score for the film is a delight, and masterfully integrated.

If the editor converted the entire film to grayscale, this would be a far better edit. A few tweaks beyond that, and it could easily become one of the best edits on the site. However, in its present form, this edit is far inferior to the source material.

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