Reviews

Brazil

5

While no one can doubt Terry Gilliam's overwhelming talent for capturing his wild imagination on celluloid, his critics are quick to point out that his movies suffer structurally. But even the harshest naysayers have to admit, Gilliam didn't put a foot wrong with the '40s-futuristic, red-tape-nightmare dark comedy Brazil, in which a simple clerical error causes unambitious clerk Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) to try to escape his oppressive reality. It's rich in irony, steeped in surrealism and touched with genius, especially in Gilliam's pipe-constricted visualisation of a 1984-like society where bureaucracy dictates. Easily one of the greatest movies of the '80s yet, bizarrely, it remains an overlooked masterpiece.

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