Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: 9.0
Score: 76.50
I still remember the first time I saw a clip of Brazil. I was 19 years old, sitting in my first Communications class and had just been introduced to the concept of a dystopian film, a term that my mind was eagerly feasting on as I made connection after connection with many of my favourite films. Brazil takes place within a futuristic one-world government bureaucracy juxtaposed with inefficient retro technology.

Johnathan Pryce plays the quintessential cog in the administrative machine who attempts to correct an inadvertant error in the great machine of government and thus finds himself the target of the iron fisted, militaristic powers that be.

Terry Gilliam masterfully weaves together the totalitarian omniscience of Orwell’s Big Brother with the hopeless drudgery of modern bureaucracy. Ineptitude and inefficiency are as much to blame as overt militarism, all set against the backdrop of a dreary, superficial, antiseptic automated society. Brazil manages to be at once humourful and chilling, visually constructed with precision that seems at once high and low budget, polished and raw. There is a rich subtext of visual commentary on modern living, and I highly recommend watching it more than once.

Review Date: 2010-08-15

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