There are many dystopias. It is a subgenre of science fiction (much more so now that series allow us to describe the peculiarities of future worlds with much more detail and precision than in movies, where characters and action take precedence) that fans have always followed with special interest. . Not surprisingly, two absolute classics of genre literature, ‘1984’ and ‘Brave New World’, are two dystopian classics.
In fact, ‘Brazil’, Terry Gilliam’s masterpiece from 1985 which just landed on HBO Max (and whose date is only one year away from coinciding with George Orwell’s prophetic work) is heavily inspired by ‘1984’, although it is bathed in a strong satirical component that also reminds one of Franz Kafka’s masterpieces such as ‘The Trial’ . It couldn’t be less coming from someone who had been a member of Monty Python, which had split up just a year before.
In fact, it is in the group’s latest film, ‘The Meaning of Life’, that the DNA of ‘Brazil’ can be traced: in the splendid 17-minute short film that preceded the film, ‘The Crimson Permanent Assurance’, where a group of old office workers became pirates and abandoned bureaucratic life in search of adventure. The out-of-control bureaucracy is also the objective of ‘Brazil’, only here it is given a futuristic setting that allows Gilliam to also question the consumer societyto the cult of the image and the lives subjected to the gears of the system.
In the depressing future world (and current at the same time) of ‘Brazil’, everything starts when a fly falls into a computer and changes the last name of the revolutionary Harry Tuttle to that of the quiet family man Harry Buttle, who is arrested and murdered. by the security forces. The bureaucrat Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) will be commissioned to return a check to the family, and in the midst of a maze of paperwork he will meet the woman of his dreams, with whom he aspires to escape from that hell of offices and schedules. .
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There are few dystopian movies as perfect as this one by Terry Gilliam that just landed on HBO Max