any good movies lately?
and recommend it.
A fly annoys a worker in a
government office, gets swatted and falls into a machine thatís in the
middle of printing out an arrest warrant for terrorist Harry Tuttle. The
errant fly causes the machine to insert a "B" in place of a
"T," and as a result, innocent Harry Buttle gets arrested in a
most over-the-top manner, then ends up dying in prison. Unfortunately
before a rather unimportant office worker, Sam Lowry, spots the error.
As he works to rectify the situation, Lowry discovers a lot of
frightening truths about his society, and where his place in it lies.
Soon Lowry finds his quest has expanded well beyond its original mission
of correcting a bureaucratic blunder. He befriends a smuggler, Jill,
with whom he falls in love, despite the fact that his constant
confessions of adoration do little to sway her into returning the
sentiment. And as his dull existence begins taking on some color, he
finally makes some changes in his own life, such as standing up to his
mother, a woman obsessed with plastic surgery and image. But the thrill
of excitement quickly turns to fear as Lowry bumbles his way through
everything, making enemies left and right, and taking down some of those
around him while he's at it. Lowry eventually becomes an enemy of the
state. Itís then that he befriends terrorist Harry Tuttle (in a
brilliant cameo by Robert De Niro), whose offenses, it turns out,
consist largely of such horrific acts as fixing his own plumbing without
filling out the proper paperwork. As Lowry learns where his loyalties
really lie, he also discovers the ugly nature of the bureaucracies that
run his world and the true horror of what it means to question authority
in this society.
One small fly, one little clerical error,
and we're off on one of the most surreal and dreary looks at modern life
this side of...well, anything. Thanks to co-writer and director Terry
Gilliam, Brazil offers a vision of an Orwellian society thatís
both charmingly whimsical and startlingly disturbing, often in the same
scene. Itís a world in which mysterious terrorists blow up shopping
malls and restaurants on a daily basis, and upper-class women --
obsessed with looking young -- risk their lives for questionable plastic
surgery. Meanwhile, forms and protocol have so overwhelmed everyone that
even simply fixing an air conditioner requires several rounds of
paperwork and months of waiting. This world that Sam Lowry inhabits is
stark, bland, and fascinatingly horrifying Ė itís no wonder that
Lowry fights so hard to rise above it all. You want to root for Lowry as
he tries to live out every office droneís dream of stickin' it to the
man. But then you don't want to root for him because he's so bad at it.
Some scenes are very funny, such as one in which some workers get a
closet-sized office with only half a desk because the other half belongs
to the worker in the office next door, and a childish game of who can
own the most desk ensues. Brazil is also visually stunning --
even the scenes of drab city life are beautiful to look at, with strange
and fantastic things happening in every corner of the film. In a visit
to a factory, for example, a nice little house, complete with flower
boxes in the window, is being moved by crane to make way for the
ever-expanding factory. The only downfall of this movie is that it tries
too hard to do too much. There are many ideas in this film and each one
gets screen time, with the result that the movie sometimes flies off on
tangents that really go nowhere or make little sense. But in the end,
it's worth your patience. A truly strange film that melds grandiose
ideas with wonderful visuals, Brazil will take you on a very
puzzling Ė and very interesting
by Mike Weaver
is a software trainer in Dearborn, MI, and an avid
film buff who genuinely misses Gene Siskel, can talk like Yoda, and has
actually watched Wyatt Earp starring Kevin Costner (though it took a
while for him to recover).
lounge . nourish
. host .
. home .