This film is often called a dark comedy. There may be some humor moments, and it’s definitely dark, but somehow that term just does not explain this film at all. It is a bleak look at a world that embraced bureaucracy a bit too fervently. We encounter a future where anyone who does not fill out forms correctly is labeled a “terrorist.” At the same time the “government” can snatch people from their homes and torture them until they die.
Some funny (but not so funny) moments:
A bomb goes off in a restaurant. The people continue eating and a room divider is put up to block the carnage.
Two men share half a desk through a hole cut in the wall between their desks. It’s obviously more efficient to have one desk per two men as opposed to the waste associated with individual desks.
A woman’s husband is taken away by the government in the middle of the night, but must sign a form and take her receipt before the “transaction” is completed.
This movie was made in the mid 1980s so there are some obvious technological drawbacks. However, the message is still eery. No one used the word “terrorist” in the 80s unless there was breaking news about a hijacked plane. And even then it always seemed to get resolved. What a different world we live in today.