Sunday, September 09, 2007


Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985) [8]

I really don't know how much I actually like this; I may be too easily swayed by the positive accolades over time and there's no denying how fully immersed into its own world the film is. For me, this is by far Gilliam's most accomplished film, at least in terms of what you think of a Terry Gilliam film to be. All that being said, I tend not to care that much about the film when it was over. It's certainly an achievement on a visual level and I found the story to be compelling but the complete lack of a concrete opinion about it bothers me. That doesn't mean I didn't like it, it's well made, but I just have the feeling that if I were to watch this a couple of years down the road, either I will completely get it or lower the grade.

Gilliam treads into Orwellian territory with a story about an omnipresent totalitarian society enslaved to technology and corporate brainwashing. What is impressive was how much this film is on the mark in terms of technology and computers controlling peoples' lives. Against all the jackbooted thugs and endless bureaucracy, a lone man is fighting to regain his imagination. What I find most weak about the film is the story of Lowery. The entire situation with him and his dreams and his relationship feel weak compared to the menacing presence of the world that he occupies. This appears to be one of the themes of the film, as Sam is trying to break free of the deadening control of his life and fulfill his dreams. The less personal, man against the system story here is better in my opinion. In regards to the much publicized trouble of ending the film, Gilliam's original ending is really the only logical one. The system in which Sam lives in is just way too big and powerful for one person to have any success in changing it. It may be downbeat but it really does fit the world of the film.

As with all Gilliam films, there are memorable images and effects. Much of my admiration for the film centers on how complete the world Gilliam created for the film works, especially the scenes dealing with the giant, never-ending bureaucracy of the monolithic state. And there was sly little Battleship Potemkin homage towards the end.

1 comment:

Ruben Bike said...

i like that movie...just passing right here... greetings