Graham J’s review published on Letterboxd:
Brazil explains A LOT!
If you haven't seen Terry Gilliam's Brazil then let me try and inject a little enthusiasm into you.
I'd put off watching this film for years. Bottom of the pile stuff. The title was dull, the plot descriptions were fluff, the cast underwhelmed me and lastly, other than 12 Monkeys, I was not a fan of Terry Gilliam. BUT, I was aware that surrounding the release of any new Gilliam picture was this weird excitement, an optimism and hopefulness from past glories that I never understood, it was baffling. What was it about?
So tonight I finished Brazil after over a decade of ignoring its advances, and finally it revealed the answer.
Brazil is really, really brilliant!!! (Note: 3 exclamation points to highlight its brilliance)
Trying to explain its greatness requires more words than I want to put in a review but throughout I was gobsmacked at how constantly the film entertained me even as it evolved from one genre to the next. It was funny, it was moody and strange, the sets are incredible, the lighting and camera work are often thrilling, the visuals are often jaw-dropping, the music forever romantic.
What I was surprised at is the films heavy use of symbolism, but even more impressive is that it's touchable. It's not pretentiously poetic, it's smartly, nudge nudge, wink wink poetic. Every gripe we 30 year old+ folk have with modern life is dreamt onto the screen.
I don't need to talk plot because it's about so much more. It's about life, love, careers, choice, dreams, movies and your ducts. Trust me.
Treat yourself. Give it a try.