It's only a state of mind.
Brazil is a Terry Gilliam dystopic black comedy film that reflects the melancholy, dreamlike quality of a famous Brazilian song that’s been translated into English. The film parodies the mostly dysfunctional bureaucratic world we live in and takes us to a post-apocalyptic world in the future yet with our present day attitudes in mind.
What do you get when you mix Python with Kafka and put it in an Orwellian nightmare? You get Gilliam's unsung masterpiece that manages to be both dark satire and visionary piece of visual art.
It is in essence a fierce attack on bureaucracy and totalitarianism, told as a tale greatly inspired by 1984, but unique in its deep emotive layers and beautiful aesthetics. Gilliam is often a messy director, but here he is in perfect balance. He gives us his unique visual flair without losing sight of the story and its themes.
Gilliam's film sings a song for the individual, the romantic and for love. Struggling through a web of red tape and one clerical error we witness the…
During the last Criterion sale, I took a gamble and bought the Brazil Blu-ray. A gamble because I had started watching it once before, several years ago, but abandoned it. But I reasoned, really, could it be any more up my alley? A visionary filmmaker, a world built from the scratch of our world, bold ideas and bold visuals. I’d heard bits and pieces about the troubles and the studio problems and everything else (looking forward to checking out the extra features), so I knew not to expect flawlessness.
More and more I’m coming to love films that aim high, even if they don’t fully succeed. Show me something imperfect, show me something messy, as long as it’s crazy or…
On paper, Brazil is an amalgamation of my favorite genres and themes in cinema: black comedy, satire, romance, fantasy, science-fiction, dystopic societies, fear of/fighting against "the man," championing of the individual, etc. Imagine my disappointment when all of those things turned out to be true, but I still only found a marginal amount of enjoyment in the experience. At first I was laughing at the absurdity of the visuals, engrossed in the satirical story, and rooting for our hero Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce). As time went on and the narrative dragged, it started grating on my nerves. The end slightly saved the film for me because I found it thought-provoking, but overall I was still disappointed. In 1985, I'm sure…
The Film That Changed My Life. Saw it 10 times or more during its theatrical run, and it pretty much singlehandedly kick-started my sense of the medium as more than passing entertainment; can't really pretend to be objective about it now, though I'd expected to rate it even higher. As an exercise, I tried very hard this time—my first viewing since around 1994 or '95—to watch it as if I don't have it memorized, imagining how it would play to virgin eyes. For about half an hour, it was clearly the greatest movie ever made, a stunningly realized dystopic-absurdist playground/nightmare. Then Gilliam is forced to start paying at least marginal attention to the narrative, which isn't his forte, and…
I hadn't seen Brazil since I was very young, too young to comprehend. The wiser me is quite impressed by the timeliness of the whole thing, even while the writing remains lush with convolution...but this is the point. The 80s Orwellian rendering of a future economy is ripe with contradicting government information. The bureaucracy on display is intricate and messy. The characters are oppressed by demanding technology that it is omnipresent. The machines of this world are life-controlling. This is where the Gilliam touch flourishes. Every set is fully detailed with little gadgets and gizmos that pop off the screen in HD. The grungy monstrosity of the images are bold and iconic. The whole long experience can be appreciated at just the visual level, but at the essence of the confusing narrative and flights of dream fantasy, the movie is a cry for simplicity in government, a core theme that will always remain relevant, regardless of time.
"There you are, your own number on your very own door. And behind that door, your very own office! Welcome to the team, DZ-015"
Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil' has come to be regarded as an anti-totalitarianism cautionary tale, a bureaucratic hell where fantastical dreams merge with dreary nightmares.
This is Terry Gilliam most visionary and ambitious work, with rich, visual and cynicism. With 'Brazil', Gilliam is at the top of his game, mixing black comedy with a seriously worldview.
It perfectly expresses the director's most troubling themes of the individual trapped by modernity's machine-like existence and a society content with its obscene abnormality, a theme that has more weight now than in 1985.
Essentially 1984 but with Terry Gilliam's exquisite visual quirkiness and humor. Jonathan Pryce is so wonderful.
It's a really interesting look at the future and I can really feel Gilliam's seemingly never ending fight with big film studios playing a major role in this film. Gilliam so desperately just wants to tell interesting stories with fantastical visuals and he very successfully does so with this film, but you can feel the years of shit he has and will deal with when it comes to studio executives in so many aspects of this film.
a masterpiece of dark tragedy
I'd somehow never seen this before.
It's interesting, quirky, funny, dark and scary. I'm not much of a Jonathan Pryce fan though I'm afraid - he's not really leading man material - and some of the action and dream sequences were a little too long in my opinion.
I'm being harsh though: 'Brazil' is a fun, enjoyable and thought-provoking work but not without it's flaws.
(Castro Theater, 35mm, 8:49 p.m.)
i watched this in high school in my history class, i don't know why, and it gave me nightmares. so low rating, fuck you gilliam.
Shit. WTF. Don't get it. Weird.
I liked Brazil.
I almost loved it.
Seeing it was a completely different experience.
The cinematography was awesome, the retro-future setting was awesome.
But there was a point in the story where I got lost.
I didn't fully understand what happened.
I got the message, but some parts of the story were too crazy for me.
This deserves a rewatch, really.