"You mean you haven't seen that yet?!": Elliot takes on "Brazil"

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May 30, 2009 by abbyo

Your head is likely to do something very similar after just one viewing!

Your head is likely to do something very similar after just one viewing, ladies and gentlemen! Beware!!

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!


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