Best of Prime Video: ‘Brazil’ review

Both Fantastical and Nightmarish: ‘Brazil’ is one of the greatest films ever made, with no flaws in sight. Pictured is protagonist Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) and Lowry’s friend Jack Lint (Michael Palin). 

Perfection on screen. 

‘Brazil’ is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I am happy to say so. It is certainly an experience of a film, and a must watch.

 Directed by Terry Gilliam (“The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”), “Brazil” is about Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), a big trapped in an incredibly bureaucratic job, a cog within a totalitarian, urban society. He longs to escape his misery, and strange coincidences lead to the overall main plot of the film where he tries to find a woman (Kim Greist) he becomes infatuated with within the urban jungle they occupy, which isn’t Brazil.

The plot may seem a boring as I described it, but “Brazil” can only be seen to really understand why the film is so special. It has a sincereness and a heart to it, visually and story-wise. The city Sam lives in is one of, if not the greatest, settings ever conceived and it is a fully realized world. Part retro-future, part “Blade Runner” and part “Batman Art Deco,” this movie is incredibly detailed in all the best ways. It can even be described as dream-like with things like camera work giving this film a dream-like and comic-like appearance, and it draws you in headfirst. I really could write a whole paper on why this film is so beautiful visually.

Then there is the story. Beforehand, I had really only seen Pryce in “Game of Thrones,” and the only other actor I was really familiar with was Ian Holm, who was Bilbo Baggins in “The Lord of the Rings” series, but everyone, especially Pryce, nails their role and lets you suspend your disbelief instantaneously, taking you headfirst into this dreamlike sci-fi dystopia that really nothing else comes close to. The story itself is definitely a satire, but the work as a whole is an incredibly emotional one in an entirely authentic way. Sam is a protagonist that you really grow to care for, and he is definitely one of the best and most well written protagonists I have seen.

The score is also wonderful. Composed by Michael Kamen and featuring Geoff Muldaur, this is the kind of score that is not only great, but is also incredibly crucial thematically. It brings in this score that evokes a fantastical longing for something idealized and built up, and it really surprised me with how thoughtful it was.

“Brazil” is without a doubt a film that elevates film to art, and that it is why it is difficult to describe why it is so good. It has both satire and authentic tragedy to it, and that is what makes it special. Looking back, I really can’t see a flaw in it. Certainly it won’t be for everyone, but “Brazil” truly is a class of its own, dripping with complexities that all fit perfectly in the story Gilliam came up with, and it is a classic in every sense.