Questions about Brazil (the film, not the country)

I watched Brazil for the first time in many years and I was impressed by how well it has aged. I was confused by a couple of points near the end.
The film cuts between Sam Lowry’s reality and his dreams. It is clear through most of the film which is which until he is interrogated by Jack Lint. The entire rescue by Bob Deniro, er, Harry Tuttle is presented as part of Sam’s reality until it is made clear that he has imagined the whole thing.

Near the end of the movie, Sam is working in the Ministry of Information when he fiddles with the pneumatic tubes and manages to burst a pipe and have papers flying throughout the ministry. Even given the comical nature of the plot to this point I can’t believe this would actually happen in Sam’s reality so I wonder if this was just a daydream of his.

Later, Sam returns home to find the Central Services workers in his apartment at the precise moment Tuttle shows up to switch the AC and the sewage lines. Given Tuttle’s status with the state I can’t imagine he would have dropped by just to pull a prank, so I think this was also daydream of Lowry’s.

Any Gilliam fans out there willing to help me figure this out? Were these two scenes part of Lowry’s reality or his fantasy?

Sam’s reality is Gilliam’s fantasy.

You got that straight partner. Just as Holden Caulfield’s reality is Salinger’s fantasy, I hope there is more to the question “What in Caulfield’s reality contributed to his deliquence?” than the answer “Salinger’s fantasy”.

Sam Lowry’s entire adventure is the last thing that flashes through the mind of a fly who has the misfortune to get obliterated in an impact printer after being dislodged from its natural environment by logging in the Amazonian rainforest. (Free straight line for ya.)

This is awesome!:smiley:

But in all seriousness, I think the two incidents cited are indeed part of Sam’s reality. Just because it’s absurd or surreal doesn’t automaticaly relegate it as a dream.

Agreed. I think that world was so screwed up as to just sometimes burst out in something crazy happening.

If anybody has the European Cut on DVD, there might be a clue to the answer there. It includes a scene just after Sam’s arrest where the charges against him are being read. Sam would hardly fantasize that; if there are references to the MOI message tubes or the maintenance men, then they’re probably real (within the context of the film).

I always thought the last “real” thing Sam experienced was getting captured and black bagged along with Jill. Everything that happened after that was a deluded fantasy. He dreamed up the escape, Tuttle coming to save him, his bringing the system down, etc.

Well, they do unbag him and have him discover he’s in the torture dome, so that’s probably also real (especially given the final shot). I think when he’s talking to his friend (Michael Palin), at some point in that conversation is where his “break” occurs.