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Subject: "I want to like this film, but I don't get it" This topic is locked.
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Member since Aug 04th 2005
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Fri Dec-29-06 01:00 AM

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20. "I want to like this film, but I don't get it"
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Other criticisms echo my own -- I seriously started this movie about 5 times before I finally finished because it drags so much, and that time I finally finished it was a major piece of will power. I'll admit I didn't re-watch it before I posted this, because I kept clamming up at the thought of going through with it again. I might do it before this sinks, but then again I just might not.

Basically, much of the film feels like a re-tread to me:

A bloated, distant beauracracy? WOW -- cutting, that satire there.
Invasive government police? IT'S LIKE HE CAN SEE THE FUTURE!
Modern living disrupting personal relationships? It's like he looked at art from the 1920s or something! Amazing!
Man dissatisfied with life finds revelation in revolutionary female love interest? What a totally unique romance!

I don't get the appeal -- I've read 1984, I've read the Brave New World, I've read Fahrenheit 451, I've seen Terry Gilliam's other pieces of whimsical fantasy, I've seen huge numbers of dystopian fantasies, and this one just doesn't click with me. It seriously lifts central elements from each of the works I just mentioned -- Big Brother from 1984, strict social hierarchy from Brave New World, revolutionary love interest from Fahrenheit 451, and all the art direction you know and love in every other Terry Gilliam film.

I mean, it's Gilliam so it has all the fingerprints of his talent, and as far as these dystopian things go, it hits all the notes and hits them rather predictably, but coming to it as basically the last of all the dystopian fictions I consumed, I'd have to say I'm pretty disappointed in it. Frankly, I'm hesitant to even class it as a sci-fi -- it's more just a cheesy fantasy with a non-descript time setting.

Still, given the paucity of sci-fi film which actually makes any effort to be something besides a space soap opera or an action movie with lasers, I suppose it's refreshing in that sense. Worth watching for serious film buffs to admire Terry Gilliam's handiwork, but nothing particularly ground-breaking in light of the huge number of other works which basically do what this film does, only better.

In the end, I'd rather watch Blade Runner again, then read a Brave New World and call it a day.

If a fan of the film could give a detailed analysis of exactly what works for them, I'd be curious to hear that. The art direction is pure Gilliam magic, I know that, but that story? How is it NOT one huge rip-off, and poorly paced at that?




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Okayplayer Movie Club: Brazil by Terry Gilliam [View all] , Frank Longo, Mon Dec-25-06 11:51 AM
Subject Author Message Date ID
wens the deadline?
Dec 25th 2006
Brazil's in HD Thursday on UniversalHD
Dec 25th 2006
The HD version of this is like watching an ENTIRELY NEW FILM
Jan 01st 2007
Some HD screen captures here (link)
Jan 01st 2007
I will be discussing this one with ya'll.
Dec 25th 2006
This is in my Top 2 of favorite movies of all time
Dec 25th 2006
What's the 90 minute version like? I've only seen director's cut.
Dec 25th 2006
      A lot of the darker tones of the film are weakned quite a bit
Dec 26th 2006
okay... i'll gladly join in for this one
Dec 25th 2006
I can get down with this one. One of my all-time favorites...
Dec 26th 2006
Which cut? n/m
Dec 26th 2006
most overrated movie in the history of ever.
Dec 26th 2006
Care to explicate?
Dec 26th 2006
most overrated movie in the history of ever.
Dec 26th 2006
I really didn't care for this film
Dec 28th 2006
saw the director's cut...
Dec 28th 2006
DeNiro's most overlooked performance...
Dec 28th 2006
Overlooked? He was in one scene the whole movie
Dec 28th 2006
      you didn't even finish the movie!
Dec 28th 2006
           I didn't have to finish the movie to see that 4 minute scene.
Dec 29th 2006
                If you think Harry Tuttle's an insignificant role, you missed a LOT.
Dec 29th 2006
weird as fuck.. but good...
Dec 29th 2006
I like the direction more than I do the writing.
Dec 29th 2006
      I agree, there are a lot of memorable images in Brazil.
Dec 29th 2006
Okay, since no one else is talking, I'll retort the best that I can:
Dec 29th 2006
So okay, I read a lot of sci-fi in high school
Dec 30th 2006
Your points are incredibly valid, but I've still gotta say...
Jan 01st 2007
Like many films about postmodernity...
Dec 31st 2006
so, i FINALLY watched this for the first time. some thoughts
Jan 18th 2007
I'm still undecided on whether to watch this . . .
Jul 04th 2007
Watch it.
Jul 05th 2007

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