Brazil (1985)

Day: January 29th, Movie: 30

Terry Gilliam is a filmmaker whose work is filled with some of the most imaginative storytelling that you are ever going to find. 1985’s Brazil falls right into step with that concept. Brazil was the second film in Gilliam’s “Trilogy of Imagination” with Time Bandits and the Adventures of Baron Munchausen being the other two.

According to IMDB, “Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is a harried technocrat in a futuristic society that is needlessly convoluted and inefficient. He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. While trying to rectify the wrongful arrest of one Harry Buttle (Brian Miller), Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton (Kim Greist). Meanwhile, the bureaucracy has fingered him responsible for a rash of terrorist bombings, and Sam and Jill’s lives are put in danger.

Gilliam’s film is a dark comedy set in a dystopian future. It takes some inspiration from George Orwell’s novel 1984. Brazil is a satire focusing on bureaucracy and technocracy. There is a real feel of English comedy to Brazil which may be something that prevents some audiences from appreciating how funny and clever it actually is.

Jonathan Pryce leads a remarkably strong cast as Sam Lowry. He played the role with a confused state that makes him a naturally excellent protagonist which played right into the final resolution of the movie.

The outstanding cast included Kathrine Helmond (Jessica from Soap and Mona from Who’s the Boss) as Sam’s mother. I was pleased to see her again, as she was one of my favorite actresses from those sitcoms. There was also Kim Greist, Robert DeNiro, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, Bob Haskins, Peter Vaughn, Ian Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Sheila Reid, and Barbara Hicks, along with a ton of British actors.

The movie contained a lot of creativity and imagination, throwing together some visuals that were excellent and fairly absurd.  Brazil is a lot of fun and has become a cult classic because of its insane story and a visionary narrative.  Terry Gilliam is one of the most original filmmakers you are ever going to find.



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