Saturday, August 02, 2003


Here's another one I really wanted to like more. I even watched it twice, to make sure I wasn't missing something. But it's a simple fact -- former Python Terry Gilliam's Brazil did nothing for me. I respect its technical qualities -- the art direction and set design is especially noteworthy -- but the cold, too-quirky-for-its-own-damn-good script just couldn't pull me in. Sam (Jonathan Pryce), a meek clerk at the Ministry of Information, finds the girl of his dreams (literally), only to be pulled in with her into the bureaucratic nightmare that is the world of Brazil. Robert DeNiro is fun in a small role as a rogue plumber (yes, a rogue plumber -- don't ask), but I found Brazil to be remarkably unfunny, despite its obvious comic aspirations (a running joke about a horribly botched plastic surgery falls flat on its face...pardon the pun). And when it's not telling bad jokes, it's just plain weird, like the daydreams Sam has, featuring a winged Sam battling a giant samurai monster (among other things). I did like Michael Palin's supporting role as Sam's friend, and as I said, the set design is really spectacular. But the film as a whole is uninspiring. I'll say this, though -- the ending is impressive. That, I liked.

Rating: **

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