Film: Brazil 15 rating Year: 1985
Brazil DVD Cover
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Country: UK Genre: Comedy / Sci-fi
Director: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin

Also see our Guide to Terry Gilliam, or visit our Terry Gilliam UK or Terry Gilliam US stores, or see our reviews of other Terry Gilliam films Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Jabberwocky and Lost In La Mancha.

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Synopsis of Brazil - Brazil is set in futuristic society. A society filled with bureaucracy, controlled by the state and spied on by secret government agencies. In this society the rich live an extremely extravagant life style, with technology being held together with the junk of the past. In the middle of all this is Sam Lowry a meek, and frustrated dreamer, who works for the Ministry of Information (a chaotic government department which is actually a paper chase). The ministry is a mixture of powerful bosses, worried yes men fearful of making any mistakes, and their employees rushing round like headless chickens pretending to be busy so they do not get spotted. Sam is the son of the mega rich Ida Lowry who uses her influence to get her son a better job within the ministry. Sam, however dreams of another time, where he is the hero. He eventually meets and falls in love with an anti-government activist who is on the run. But can Sam be a hero and achieve the happy ending he dreams of?

Review of Brazil - Terry Gilliam is a visual genius - he is the Michelangelo of the film world, and Brazil is perhaps his most stunning film. It is an amazing script fusing the hugeness of Terry Gilliam's creative visual interpretation of a futuristic society against the minutiae of an all-enveloping bureaucracy that exits purely for its own purposes. Its like Reggie Perrin meets Robocop. Robert De Niro is brilliant in his bit-part role (as is Bob Hoskins). Ian Holm is brilliant too as Sam's uptight boss. Brazil is not as "wacky" as Gilliam's previous films but the more dark and thoughtful humour works fantastically well set against the imaginatively created vision of the future.
The reasons I recommend Brazil are: 1. Brilliant script works as both a fantastic exploration of a future society and a satire on the frustrations of the current society. 2. Visually stunning. 3. Pryce, Hoskins, De Niro and Holm all give fantastic performances in their respective roles.