Monday, December 13, 2010

Top 10 Films of the Year: #9-Brazil

Top 10 Films of the Year:

Though watching his most recent films you wouldn't know it, Terry Gilliam actually does have some talent behind the screen. Before The Adventures of Pluto Nash hollywood's biggest failure came in the realese of Brazil, which by the end of it all had three different cuts made. The definitive cut runs about two and a half hours long, and is a great dystopian tale of an opressive government and the one worker that tries to rebel. The idea is old, and often used, but it works in the realm of the story I believe. It invokes great memories of the works of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, and puts you in the mood for the type of story that is about to be told. It also allows for some great stylistic choices, which Gilliam is well known for. It was realesed in a time where American audiences were used to sci-fi epics like Alien, and Predator where as Gilliam's vision was much darker, and far more realistic, with the evil not coming in the form of some other life-form from outerspace, but rather our own governments, and were the terrorists doing the bombing, might be more heroic than our selected leaders. The film has some great performances from Johnathan Pryce, Michael Palin, Robert De Niro, and Katherine Helmond as a scene-stealer, playing Pryce's mother, who is addicted to plastic surgery, and is simply hilarious in nearly every scene she is in. The film shines in screenplay, which is quick-witted, funny, and most importantly a satire of the current industrial world. Gilliam claims the film is his version of 1984, "the nineteen eighty-four, for 1984" as he claims, which I find is perfect. The film is stark in story, bright in style, and hilarious in action. I think where Brazil succeeds is in creating this weird stir of emotions within the viewer. You realize that everything that is going on in the world is terrible, but the way the characters react, and interact within it is just hilarious. It's a great comedic satire that still holds up today, has good acting, great direction, and a lovely sense of style and pacing, a refreshing look at the sci-fi genre without delving into the realms of anything too extreme.

1 comment:

  1. Brazil is a stunning movie. Out of all Gilliam films I think I favor Fisher King the most (just call me Mr. Mainstream), however Brazil certainly ranks up there.