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Pitting the imagination of a common man against the oppressive storm troopers of the Ministry of Information, this bitter parable for the Information Age is more relevant than ever. Gathering footage from both the European and American versions, Terry Gilliam has assembled the ultimate 142-minute director's cut of his most celebrated film, then annotated it with a shot-by-shot commentary on an alternate audio channel.
If Franz Kafka had been an animator and film director--oh, and a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus--this is the sort of outrageously dystopian satire one could easily imagine him making. However, Brazil was made by Terry Gilliam, who is all of the above except, of course, Franz Kafka. Be that as it may, Gilliam sure captures the paranoid-subversive spirit of Kafka's The Trial (along with his own Python animation) in this bureaucratic nightmare-comedy about a meek governmental clerk named Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) whose life is destroyed by a simple bug. Not a software bug, a real bug (no doubt related to Kafka's famous Metamorphosis insect) that gets smooshed in a printer and causes a typographical error unjustly identifying an innocent citizen, one Mr. Buttle, as suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). When Sam becomes enmeshed in unraveling this bureaucratic glitch, he himself winds up labeled as a miscreant.
The movie presents such an unrelentingly imaginative and savage vision of 20th-century bureaucracy that it almost became a victim of small-minded studio management itself--until Gilliam surreptitiously screened his cut for the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, who named it the best movie of 1985 and virtually embarrassed Universal into releasing it. This DVD version of Brazil is the special director's cut that first appeared in Criterion's comprehensive (and expensive) six-disc laser package in 1996. --Jim Emerson
This review applies to Brazil (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] ASIN: B009D004X6.
An amazing, funny, adventure, love story, and I'd say surreal & wacky with some... Read more
Brazil is an excellent postmodern take on totalitarianism in the bureaucratic world. The show dashingly flips between absurdist satire and existential tragedy.Published on March 11 2010 by Donna M. Andrew
This is a cult classic, but I find it over-rated. It delivers the zaniness, surreality and crazy camera work, but the film has no interest in its characters -- you'll feel nothing... Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Ellie Marconi
I'm going to assume that those reading these reviews have actually seen the film. If you haven't, and are considering this purchase, please go out and rent a copy first. Read morePublished on May 29 2004 by J. Maynard Gelinas
"Brazil" is a masterpiece, and more relevant today than it was in 1985. Terry Gilliam has an inclination to indulge the perverse and carnivalesque in his films, but here... Read morePublished on May 21 2004 by C. Gardner
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
The film itself has a long history of controverser surrounding the director Terry Gilliam and his... Read more
Brazil truly is a masterpiece - a jewel in the well-worn crown of stories examining the dehumanising effect of the modern world. Read morePublished on April 18 2004
I'm a proffesionl film watcher.I love movies and I live with them. I should like to thank the director and actors / actresses of this movie and every one in the producing this film... Read morePublished on March 25 2004 by bijan
I haven't seen the goodies on the Criterion DVD, all I saw was a VHS copy, so this is just a review of the movie. Read morePublished on March 14 2004 by Paul Fischer