fiction / 1985 / United Kingdom / col. / 136 min.
Director: Terry Gilliam
Screenplay: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown
Photography: Roger Pratt
Editor: Julian Doyle
Music: Michael Kamen
Cast: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Ian Richardson, Peter Vaughan, Jim Broadbent
The story of this film takes place “sometime in the 20th century” in a totalitarian society, which has taken control of the citizens’ privacy under the pretext of fighting terrorism. The main character, a lawyer named Sam Lowry, is a dreamer who manages to escape the troublesome reality via his dreams and fantasies. However, his life takes an unexpected turn once he meets Jill, the girl from his dreams, in the real world. The two planes of the story start to overlap. A timid man always unwilling to get involved gradually turns into a rebel fighting the system in order to save the woman he loves. – “Gilliam stages bureaucratic totality as an absurd grotesque and a surreal dream. Bureaucratic gears are governed by chaos, incompetence and indifference, just like everywhere else. There is only one difference: each mistake, misstep or a hint of zealousness can cost somebody their freedom or their life. There is no one to turn to.” (František Gyárfás)