Analysis Of Brazil, Directed By Terry Gilliam

1674 words - 7 pages

Analysis of Brazil, Directed by Terry Gilliam

As a child develops into an adult there are critical developmental steps that are necessary for a complete and successful transition. The physical transition is the most obvious change, but underneath the thick skin and amongst the complex systems, exists another layer of transitions. Ideas, rationales, ideologies and beliefs all dwell within this layer of each being. It could be said that a nation can also fit this transitional framework. A nation grows in both size (wealth, population, power), and in ideological maturity (emancipation of slaves, civil rights, women’s rights…etc). This constant evolution of ideas and size is the foundation of a successful government. Without change and growth, the system currently in effect will grow stagnant and inevitably harmful to the public. The United States encourages an “American Dream”. Deeply rooted within the capitalistic, republican values of the nation, the American Dream has been pursued by generations. The concept is simple: to attain one’s stake, your slice of the pie, all that is required is good old fashioned hard work. There is no room in the American Dream to question authority or pursue truth. Of course, one must not think of the activity that hums quietly in the background, that’s just government protecting you and your interests. Brazil, directed by Terry Gilliam, is a film that brings into light often hidden aspects of the American Dream, exposing the bold contradictions that turn the greatest symbol of personal drive into a hauntingly apparent contradiction. The film succeeds in pulling the fallacies of establishment out of the murky soup of facades, and in conveying them using the perverse decomposition of the character named Sam Lowry.

Gilliam’s method of saturating the viewer with a smorgasbord of double meanings is complemented by his Orwellian governmental implications. The film is riddled with disturbing parallels to current governments close to home. In Sam Lowry’s peculiar world, he works as an employee of the Ministry of Information’s Department of Records. The Ministry is the umbrella corporation/government that runs everything from utilities and credit ratings to enforcing the confusing laws that they themselves have created. The working environment is presented to the viewer as efficiency at its finest. His office shows every person engaged dutifully in their quest for filing the right papers into the right files. Not a paper is discarded on the floor; every paper is clearly accounted for. The man who is in charge of the operation, Mr. Kurtzmann, is seen standing next to his office door holding a militant stance, watch in hand, suspiciously supervising his lively mechanism. The whole environment exudes subtle nobility in working for a greater good. This is quite typical of what would be considered a utopia for government offices. The employees participating in the great American Dream, chasing the promotion, the...

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