Friday, July 30, 2004

Dreams, society and illegal plumbing

Last night I saw Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL. And believe me it's inspiring. Jonathan Pryce(Tomorrow never dies, Ronin) plays Sam Lowry, a guy that works for a grey, bureocratic system (don't we all?). After spotting a mistake that leads to the arrest of an innocent man, he starts a quest that will only take him to his doom.
Sam lives in a society where things are expected from him, such as having a more respected job position (even though he likes where he is). Everything is paperwork and bureaucracy. Women only care about how they look, putting themselves in physical danger with every operation to look younger. There's a scene where Sam, his mother and a some friends are in a restaurant, (eating something that looks like a more juicy version of soylent green), and suddenly an explosion comes off. People scream, bleed and die in front of their noses and they don't even blink. They just keep eating, while the restaurant owners try to make their dinner more comfortable by putting a dividing wall between them and the mayhem.

The movie has great performances, starting with Pryce portraying our hero, and also has great actors in smaller(but not less important) roles, such as Ian Holm, Robert DeNiro, Bob Hoskins and many more.

Gilliam's vision and direction is impressive. The sets and the props are imaginative. Every little detail on screen makes you believe in that crazy place, and at the same time, you know it's not so far from where we live now.

There's a lot to say about the many similarities of our world and the world portrayed by Gilliam. But I'll let you see it. And even though this movie is funny in many ways, it's also scary. It's a critic to the society we live in, about the things that surround us that sometimes we get used to see and accept. Sam Lowry's sin was wanting to do the right thing. Accepting mistakes and trying to correct them. And also having dreams of his own. To fly away, to be free, and to love.
Sometimes I wonder how many Sam's are out there right now, getting punished and destroyed
for thinking by themselves. For getting a little out of line. For caring. And how many of us just stare and see it as normal.It happens, you now. Every single day.

And why the movie is called Brazil? Well, see it and we'll talk. It's easy. Just read the tag line used when the movie first came out in 1985:

It's just a state of mind.