Brazil is arguably the finest work from auteur and ex-python Terry Gilliam. The story bears more than a passing resemblance to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, with classic Giliam visuals and a deep, dark comedy twist.
The film follows beurocrat Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) as he attempts to correct a rare administrative error which results an innocent man getting captured and killed during interrogation. On the way he meets the girl of his dreams (literally) and follows her until he finds himself fighting against the fascist beurocratic governmental policies he has so long upheld, and finding out that terrorists are not the people his government would have him believe they are....
The cast is extremely solid, and every performance is outstanding, with the exception of Kim Greist, who plays the leading lady and Sam's love interest in the movie. She didn't seem to buy into the role as other cast members did, and this makes her character seem a little out of place and cold, and unfortunately is the only reason I cannot award a perfect 10 to this film. Allegedly Terry Gilliam was also not too impressed with her performance and cut many of her scenes.
As stated though, the same criticism cannot be put to the remaining cast members. Pryce is made for the main role, and captures the character perfectly. Gilliam's fellow Python Michael Palin is also excellent in probably the straightest role he has ever played. Ian Holme owns the inept beurocrat manager role, and even Bob Hoskins manages to deliver. The top award goes to Robert Deniro however, in possibly the greatest cameo role in cinema history.
What really makes Brazil stand out (other than its social commentary) its trademark Gilliam visual and artistic style. The movie is set in a retro-futuristic noir fantasy world that oozes life. From the propaganda posters that adorn every duct ridden wall, to the 30s music and government broadcasts, not a second goes by where you are removed from this perfectly realised, surreal but at the same time believable world. Dream sequences allow Gilliams creative flair to really let loose and provide some of the more memorable images, however every frame of the film is practically a work of art.
Gilliam has created a dark and disturbing (some might say prophetic!) world, and I encourage anyone who hasn't seen this movie to watch it as soon as possible.
As a side note I would also encourage fans and anyone interested in the movie business to read the book, "The Battle of "Brazil": Terry Gilliam V Universal Pictures". Its a fascinating read and shows the lengths Terry Gilliam had to go to, to get HIS version of the film released. If the movie studios had their way, this movie would have never been released as it is today.