The film could also be taken as Gilliam's personal critique of the Hollywood studio system. With the Hollywood execs represented by the faceless bureaucrats and artists like Gilliam represented by the dreamer, Sam Lowry. Such a reading is buttressed by facts of the films making as well as the protracted battle Gilliam engaged in with Universal to get his finished movie released. Universal, believing that Gilliam's original bleak ending would be a turn-off to American audiences, sat on the film. With the stalemate drawing on and no release date in sight Gilliam finally went around the back of the studio and secretly screened the film to critics. As a result - before ever selling a single ticket to the movie going public - the film was declared "Best Picture" of 1985 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Upon learning of this award Universal finally relented and released the film.
The cast is stellar: Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Peter Vaughan and Jim Broadbeant are joined by the aforementioned Jonathan Pryce in the lead role and Robert DeNiro, making one of the few essentially cameo appearances of his career as freelance duct uber-repairman Harry Tuttle.
I recommend avoiding the "love conquers all" studio bs version at all cost. Go with the 142 minute "directors cut" or the 132 minute European theatrical version of the film.
Reviews of "Brazil"