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YMMV / Brazil

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  • 8.8: Roger Ebert is the ONLY critic on Rotten Tomatoes that doesn't like this movie.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Lowry is an irresponsible idiot who chooses to live for himself instead of helping others like Tuttle. This incidentally is supported by Gilliam himself who feels that Lowry should be seen critically as someone who was fine with the system and indifferent to the harm it inflicted until it personally affected him and whose revolt is without ideology, driven by romance and Oedipus Complex and a need to be a Heroic Wannabe rather than commit to actual reform or revolt:
    Terry Gilliam: The film is about responsibility and he’s not taking responsibility for the job he does. He’s right at the heart of the ministry and the ministry is this monstrous thing and he’s busy daydreaming. So, that was just my comment about all people.
    • As described below under Nightmare Retardant, Jack Lint's obsession with "just doing his job" has been interpreted by some people as him not wanting to torture his best friend, and therefore deliberately inducing Sam's visions somehow, effectively lobotomizing him and allowing him to peacefully die with delusions of a happy ending rather than suffer horribly under torture to get information for the regime. Which, in a funny way, would make Jack as much of a rebel as Sam, if not more so.
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  • Awesome Music: Michael Kamen's music for the film has come to be a go-to theme for "Drone-like worker learns there's more to life" stories.
  • Crazy Awesome: Harry Tuttle, Robert De Niro is clearly having a blast playing a Bomb Throwing Anarchist.
  • Cult Classic: The film itself.
  • Ear Worm: Ba ba ba, ba ba ba badada... The fact that it's one of only three pieces of background music and the most prominent of all of them certainly doesn't hurt.
  • Ending Fatigue: Terry Gilliam planned on the ending getting bigger and bigger, more and more romantic, and just wilder until it just got painful... and was subverted with a massive Bittersweet Ending. The Love Conquers All version cuts the subversion.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Brazil is popular among the American Right, which Gilliam himself has said puzzles him. It was also beloved by some people living in the Iron Curtain at the time (who saw the film via bootleg copies) who perceived the film as anti-leftist even though Gilliam himself is a liberal who was critical of Reagan and Thatcher (both of whom were heroes behind the Iron Curtain). The film includes scathing satire of consumerism and authoritarianism, and one of its working titles was So That's Why the Bourgeoisie Sucks.
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    • It's quite possible that the reason it's interpreted as a conservative movie is that some viewers could see Sam's struggles with the government as something coming off of an Ayn Rand novel. And since the movie is riffing partly on George Orwell it's anti-authoritarian story could be read, and has been read as anti-communist (and Orwell himself has been co-opted quite successfully by the right-wing), albeit the film's views are probably closer to anarchistic or anarcho-syndicalist.
    • Terry Gilliam noted in interview with the film magazine Senses of Cinema, that he was himself often ambivalent about authority and community, noting that while he disliked Thatcher's crackdown of the unions, he wasn't a big fan of the unions or their tactics either, so Brazil is supposed to have a wide Applicability, and it's general anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian sentiment and fantasy has good appeal to people across the political spectrum.
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  • Nightmare Retardant: On purpose. A Torture Technician in a grimy baby mask would be terrifying if he wasn't moaning and hesitant over having to interrogate one of his best friends, going so far as to find a tool that will hurt the least. It's implied that Jack even does something to Sam to evoke this trope more directly, rendering him braindead so he won't have to suffer much in the way of real pain or terror.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Jim Broadbent is Dr. Louis Jaffe, Mrs. Lowry's plastic surgeon.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Generally considered a better adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four than the actual film-adaptation by Michael Radford (which is considered a good movie admittedly). Gilliam noted that he didn't read George Orwell's book but he knew about it via Pop-Cultural Osmosis and updated it with late-20th Century concerns.
  • Tear Jerker: Oh, lord that ending!
    • Also, the scene where Sam "refunds" Mrs. Buttle for her Husband is pretty gut-wrenching.
    • The little girl who says that she is waiting for her father to come home and Sam realizes that is Buttle's daughter.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: This movie is basically a Philip K. Dick story on happy pills. Note that PKD is already pretty spacey. Crazy Awesome, anyone?
  • Vindicated by History: Initially unable to live up to the hype surrounding it (mostly concerning Gilliam's battle to get the proper version into theaters) and losing money at the box office, Brazil has joined the ranks of Dr. Strangelove and Fargo as one of the most memorable dark comedies of all time and one of the greatest science-fiction films ever made.


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