Art tells the truth about the world by telling interesting, illustrative lies. And the more hidden the truth, the more absurd the lies must be. Of course, none of that pretentious nonsense matters if the movie isn’t any good; lucky for all of us, Terry Gilliam makes extremely good movies. Brazil is probably his most absurd, his most complete, and his best.
Brazil is a vision of a future where totalitarianism is rooted in fundamental and hilarious incompetence. A series of minor mistakes and petty sabotages takes an extremely average functionary from normal life to nightmarish (and unintentional) ruin. But Gilliam, in his heart a visual stylist, also created a new design language for retro-futuristic fascism — take Nineteen Eighty-Four, have Fritz Lang film it, and replace the rat in the cage with Bugs Bunny. If you want a picture of the future, says Brazil, imagine receiving an IRS audit notice with the wrong last name, forever.
2h 12m / R / Sci-Fi