D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
Directed by Terry Gilliam.
Starring Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin and Kim Greist.
Brazil is Terry Gilliam’s black comedy futuristic fantasy film is set in a dystopian world that is overly reliant on poor machinery. The world of the film is run by a bureaucratic and totalitarian government that controls much of people’s lives. The machines and government are portrayed as whimsical and even slapstick as Gilliam brings a unique dystopian satire to the big screen.
The film follows Sam Lowry (Pryce), a man who dreams of flying with great wings and saving a girl in distress. His life of mind-numbing office work, a lack of personal space in his tiny apartment and little or no opportunity to better his situation leads him to discover the girl of his dreams, Jill (Greist), and go about winning her over. When he arrives at the home of the widow to a man incorrectly incarcerated and killed during interrogation, Archibald Buttle, he finds that Jill is the neighbour trying to help find out what happened to that man.
Due to his low-level government job and her distrust of bureaucrats she is unwilling to talk to him. He decides to try and switch his job for one in Information Retrieval so he can find her records. The man killed was mistaken for the suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle (De Niro) and Jill becomes linked to his terrorist acts for attempting to report the incorrect arrest of Buttle. As Lowry tries to discover more about Jill and comes into contact with the real life Tuttle, he finds himself linked to terrorist activities and the government hot on his tracks.
Brazil is a film you must see before you die as it’s a strange film that echoes such other dystopian movies as 1984, but has a clear Gilliam feel to it that sets it apart from the rest. The film’s satirical take on bureaucratic governments and a world dependant on unreliable machines is a clear comment on a society that Gilliam himself had become increasingly enraged by during the 1980s.