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Brazil (1985) - Directed by Terry Gilliam

"A ruthless minority of people seem to have forgotten good old-fashioned virtues. They just can't stand seeing the other fellow win."

I avoided watching the 1985 sci-fi film Brazil for a long time because I knew about how it ended, and it almost felt like a pro-totalitarian message. But as I thought about it for a couple of years, it seemed more like a mocking of the entire concept of totalitatianism. So I watched it today.

Directed by Monty Python member Terry Gilliam, Brazil is the not-so-adventurous story of a daydreaming bureaucrat in the future who finds the woman in his daydreams, abuses his job to find information on her, and eventually giving into his fantasies and getting into trouble.

It's obvious from the beginning from notable quotes that the film is geared to mock bureaucracy and totalitarianism, two political systems that are over-controled and annoying to think about. The movie is full of wit, and every bureaucrat-related line is not only a clever mockery of that system, but a reminder of the horrors that too much of it can display.

The sets are sometimes incredible for visual effect, but sometimes underwhelming and desolate for the purpose of reminding the viewer that not everything's chrome in the future. And Gilliam's direction is properly driven by the fantasies and cruel realities of the movie.

The last minute of the film really spoke to me. While it's not a happy ending, it said to me, "If people kept going crazy within and outside of totalitarian government, it would lead to riots, and eventually abolishment of the abuse in the system.' So while I hate endings where the good guys don't get their way (which is why I knocked a full star off of Invasion of the Body Snatchers), this ending had more of a meaning in my eyes.

If I had to fault it for anything, it's that there's very little character development. Most of the characters don't need it, but the girl needed a lot more. And there were a couple of unnecessary bloody scenes at the end of the movie that really didn't add anything except a couple of "I didn't need to see that" moments which are better left in B-rate zombie movies.

Brazil was very enjoyable. Its heart is in its true message and the satire of it all. The terrifying combination of bureaucracy and totalitarianism is only good for being made fun of, and Brazil is proof of that. And it feeds intpo my fantasies of a day and age where we won't get redirected one-hundred people to get a form checked out.