May 30, 2009 by abbyo
So, I’ve been a horrible friend. Abby’s been telling me for (literally) years that I need to see Terry Gilliam’s surrealist classic “Brazil.” But it took my sister-in-law imploring me to finally sit my butt down and buckle up for the ride itself. (“It was ‘1984’ for 1984,” she told me.) So I did. Here are my thoughts:
First off… wow. It’s been two days, and I still haven’t fully wrapped my mind everything that encompasses “Brazil.” The story, centered around hero Sam Lowry, takes its audience to a trippy alternate future in which ducts run themselves in and out of every room, the government controls everything through bureacracy [as long as there isn’t anything good on the television], and police cut through suspects’ ceilings in order to detain them for questioning.
From the beginning, I drew every possible parallel to “1984” that I could see. I did this because it made everything easier to understand. I did this because the parallels were obvious. I did this because, if I hadn’t, I would’ve lost my mind 20 minutes in. I guess it just goes to show that I’m the kind of movie watcher who needs some type of logic behind things. Most of the time watching “Brazil,” I felt as though I was struggling to keep up.
Maybe this was the idea?
I can’t be sure. What I do know is that this film unsettled me, changed my opinion of actors I thought I had pegged (like Robert Deniro and Jonathan Pryce), and actually has me thinking long after the final credits rolled.
Well played, Mr. Gilliam!