Brazil (1985)

Rating: ****
Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Jonathan Pryce, Katherine Helmond, Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm, Michael Palin

Probably Terry Gilliam's finest achievement, this is a darkly comic retelling of George Orwell's "1984" mixed with the surreality of "Pink Floyd: The Wall" (1982) and Gilliam's previous Monty Python work. This movie depressed me so much when I first saw it that I was near suicidal for about two weeks before I could work my way through it. Jonathan Pryce is a Joe Average paper pusher helping to oil the machine of society. He falls in love with a dangerous radical, and that combined with an innocent typo shatters his reality and destroys his life. His dreams and hallucinations become more and more twisted, and the distinction between his fantasy world and his real world becomes a blur. Death or madness is the only way out. Dreadfully dark and depressing stuff, full of fantastic imagery and brilliantly crazed characters.