If I was to pick one favorite movie, then that movie would be totally Brazil. For your information, I’m not a Terry Gilliam fanboy in any sense, but this movie, in my honest opinion, is a work of genius.

WHAT IS IT?

Brazil is a movie released in 1985 and is widely known because of the battle Terry Gilliam fought against Universal, finally succeeding in convincing the studio to release his intended version. The film is based a lot in George Orwell’s 1984, but in a more funny and retro-futuristic way.

WHAT GENRE?

Brazil is one of those films hard to define, I could say it’s a Sci-Fi Satire, but some people found it tragic at points, I personally cried at the end. I can say it’s very nostalgic look at the 80’s and a very sad projection of the humanity’s future. It can be said that Brazil is standing exactly in the middle between Comedy and Drama, being neither.

TRAILER

WHAT’S THE PLOT?

The plot resolves around a person called Sam Lowry.

Early on, however it appears that Sam Lowry is living in his dreams, where he has the chance to be brave and fight for the woman he loves.

Sam is working in the Ministry of Information, when suddenly a mistake happens in the system. The police gets an innocent man, instead of the terrorist. So Sam Lowry is asked to go and fix it. However the harder he tries, the harder things become to explain, and Sam is caught inside the mess. To add to that, he sees the woman of his dreams in flesh and blood in front of him. Throughout the film, Gilliam is showing us the lunacy of the bureaucracy, and the complete misuse of technology which instead of making stuff more simple, makes them more complicated.

What I  absolutely love in the movie is that it takes a pretty normal sci-fi scenario, mixes a bit with noir and dreams and when you think you’re seeing a typical sci-fi movie, the ending comes, and all becomes evident. It also features Sam Lowry, a character I could totally relate to. A complete pussy in real life and a hero in his dreams. Aren’t we all a bit braver in our head after all?

WHAT ABOUT THE LOOKS?

The movie looks great, artistically wise it’s superb. It will make you think of the 60’s and the 80’s, it’s a real powerful blend, also the movie plot occurs during Christmas, so it also has a festive atmosphere, but nothing over-done. I personally believe the takes, the costumes and the sets are amazing and really hard to equal by any other movie. The movie doesn’t have that much of special effects, except for some explosions, but they are used correctly, and one or two, may crack you up for their use. Gilliam also plays a bit with the color, going from black and white to color.

As for the music, it’s in my honest opinion the most amazing soundtrack. I occasionally hum or whistle the theme song. Some of the same music was used in Wall-E.

ANY TRIVIA?

Robert de Niro wanted to play Jack, but the role was already promised to Michael Palin. De Niro still wanted to be in the film, so he was cast as Tuttle instead.

The movie is named after the theme song, which is a Frank Sinatra song. Some also claim that it’s called because of Brazil not having extradition procedures, but it’s really because of the song (“Aquarela do Brazil”).

Terry Gilliam actually named the film after that song, only because he had this phrase “It’s only a state of mind” indicating that the protagonist lives in his own version of the world, which he got when one day, at a beach in the UK, he saw a man humming that song, while the weather was rather nasty.

WHAT ABOUT RECOMMENDATIONS?

I can easily say that nothing is like Brazil. The closest come movies like Twelve Monkeys and Dr. Strangelove, and possibly Blade Runner.  If anyone knows a movie like Brazil, let me know.

LAST WORDS?

Brazil is exactly like a sci-fi movie of the 80’s, except that it’s not. At one point, I recall I was about to turn off the movie, and then on the next second, I was crying. Just watch till the end.

After all it’s only a state of mind.

Jim’s Score: 6 of 5 starps


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Censor’s Addendum:

The score of ‘6 of 5’ was never officially approved for this publication and is in fact an illegal score that doesn’t feature in the Grand Classification of Scores. The Ministry of Hardy Developers sheds all responsibility for the consequences of using untested and subversive scores and informs all interested parties that the so called “James Spanos” division has been consequently reformed with a new leader and a new team which will rehabilitate its good name. Carry on the good work!