|In Short:||A fanciful piece of dystopian nightmare.|
|JACK:||Information transfer got the wrong man. I got the right man. The wrong man was delivered to me as the right man. I accepted him on good faith as the right man. Was I wrong?|
his movie is an impassioned piece of cinematic creativity. Based on its 1984-esque subject matter, the infectious enjoyment one gets from watching it is quite remarkable.
The movie is seen through the eyes of Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), an information retrieval specialist for a futuristic totalitarian state. His mother, Ida (Katherine Helmond), is intent on using her connections to get him promoted, but he is perfectly happy where he is. Ida is shown in multiple scenes trying to get her face to look younger, even if that means having her force contorted and warped into disgusting shapes.
Ida Lowry’s transformations illustrate the horrors that the world of Gilliam’s creation is capable of. They illustrate the depths to which people can be forced to accept any kind of government oppression under the advertisement of safety.
Sam’s life begins to change with poetic simplicity: when he sees the girl of his dreams. Gilliam actually demonstrates this, as the movie periodically displays dreamed images of breathtaking beauty, where Sam flies through the air in the attempt to save an imagined woman who looks like Jill Layton (Kim Greist). The images do create a simple contrast, a reminder to the viewer that the squalor that they are looking upon is indeed squalor. But they also demonstrate the limitless confines of the human imagination, or at least Sam’s imagination.
Sam also meets Tuttle (Robert DeNiro), who introduces himself as a freelance air conditioner repairman, but who is actually attempting to destroy the government.
The movie cherishes Sam’s gradual descent toward revolution. His desire to be with Jill, a woman he has never met before, causes him to manipulate his position in order to find her, and ultimately try to protect her.
With these basic storytelling effects, combined with an acerbic style of humor and some impressive visual scenery, this is simply a delightful piece of cinema to watch.
-- Jason Luna