Saturday, February 13, 2016

729. Brazil

Directed by Terry Gilliam

What a mess that movie was.  It felt like it was trying to fit about six genres into one film.  It ended up not really succeeding at any, but I do have to admit there were moments of brilliance hidden among the dreck.

I was confused for a large portion of the film, so I apologize if my summary is incomplete or possibly incorrect. In the dystopian future, Sam Lowry is a low government employee working for the Ministry of Information.  His mother is a wealthy, well connected woman who is obsessed with plastic surgery.  He frequently has dreams about a beautiful woman he has never met who he is convinced he must save.  An administrative error makes the government arrest the wrong man (cobbler Archibald Buttle instead of terrorist Archibald Tuttle) and the man dies during an interrogation.  Sam is assigned the task of fixing the error and delivering a check to Buttle's window.  Sam then meets the woman he loves from his dreams.  Although for some reason in the dreams she has long hair and in real life she has short hair.  I guess men can't daydream about short haired women.

The film frequently crosses from fantasy to reality.  I don't know why they did this and in my opinion it didn't quite work.  There was really no reason to go into fantasy so often; it's like the story was being told by a child.  The cinematography felt incredibly clunky for this reason.  Let's not even talk about Gilliam's attempt at humor in this.  It's too embarrassing.

This movie was completely all over the place.  Unfortunately, Gilliam did not succeed in making a good comedy sci fi dystopian fantasy romance drama.  Few have.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Robert De Niro insisted on 25-30 takes for his scenes.


  1. NNNOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

    Take that back!!!!

    My favourite film bar none!!

    OK, it's certainly not perfect. Gilliam was constrained by the budget and technology he had available to him at the time (although, to remake it now would be to change the essence of the film itself, so I'm not thinking about what could have been). Kim Greist does her best but ultimately she wasn't right for that role.

    But there are uncountable fantastic bits in it from the office corridors, the plastic surgeon to tiny touches of brilliance like the dog with the X plaster over its bum. Start to finish it never ceases to tickle the imagination and amaze the mind.

    1. I can definitely see why this would appeal to people, I just was not a fan of the style! I feel the same way every time Ray talks about musicals!