Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Through all the satire, political commentary, and extraordinary special effects, Brazil, Terry Gilliam's 1985 classic, is a simple story of a man searching for the woman of his dreams. Normally this would be be just another overused plot device, but here, the man, Sam Lowry, is actually pursuing a woman who appears in his dreams that intersperse with the real world. He's a pathetic guy who accepts mediocrity and has no drive to succeed. He's working for the government and despite his lousy job, he refuses to take a promotion, much to the chagrin of his mother (an aging dame who appears younger throughout the movie due to the fine work of a cosmetic surgeon (nicely played by a young Jim Broadbent). In his dream he's a winged superhero, strong, good-looking, and always fighting dangerous oppositions and saving the beautiful dame. When he encounters the same woman while on an errand involving a deadly miscommunication as a result of a pesky fly, he becomes obsessed with finding her and ultimately saving her. Brazil is a very pessimistic film, not just because it shows an unhappy society in which the government has far too much control, but because of its bleak finish indicating extreme government perversion. In Aristotle's Primacy of the City, communities and cities would have order and cooperation among the people and the officials. But of course, man's thirst for power evolves to terrible things. This is a form of government Aristotle called corrupt, and Brazil shows just why.