The Big Kahuna (1999) and Brazil: Film Critique and Its Ideology on the Labor Working Class (1985)

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Sociology ・APA

The Big Kahuna (1999) and Brazil: Film Critique and Its Ideology on the Labor Working Class (1985) Economists, financial analysts, and important sectors of the economy have focused on the working class of a country over the years because they are the country's economic driving force. Filmmakers, directors, and others have often used realistic scenarios to depict labor conditions in a country or organization. The Big Kahuna (1999) and Brazil are two excellent examples of this genre (1985). The Big Kahuna is focused on the perspectives of marketing executives, while Brazil depicts an investigator's frustrations with bureaucracy. There are varied forms of labor relations and these are under the control of aspects such as bureaucracy, power and the moral issues experienced in the proletariat.

In his depiction of bureaucracy, Max Weber focused on the nature of authority and power in a working situation by confirming that these two concepts separate the elite from the working class. In any labor environment, the protocol begins from the proletariats who have limited power through to the elite (Leap, 2015). Normally, those in power perform very minimal duties but they are responsible for dishing out duties performed by the proletariat. Throughout The Big Kahuna, it is possible to see the frustration of the salesmen as they work really hard and are given a measly salary. In fact at one time, a colleague called Larry tells his colleagues who are fellow salesmen “Here’s to the profound…from doing a job well and being grossly underpaid”. Similarly, Brazil depicts a situation where Sam Lowry believes that his job is mind numbing simply because he cannot develop his abilities. The limits of his work are under the control of some authority. The working class is always controlled by the elite who are in power, sometimes to the extent of frustrating any endeavors geared towards personal development.

In the process of performing their work, the proletariats are immersed in the human need to form relations and this has a reflection on their ability to work. According to Leap (2015), this is synonymous to the ideal of personal relations displayed by the working class. Sometimes, human nature overtakes the proletariat and this has a direct reflection on their work. For instance, the rookie salesman in The Big Kahuna ended up discussing matters of faith instead of business and the sales team lost the job opportunity with Dick Fuller. In the process of trying to perform his duties, the protagonist (Sam Lowry) in Brazil finds the woman of his dreams and focuses on her instead of the job at hand. As a result, Lowry ends up strapped in a chair because the love he had led him to abandon caution.

In any labor relations, the parties involved react in varied ways to similar pressures and this is largely connected to how the people with power and authority confronts such issues (Leap, 2015). In The Big Kahuna, Larry and Phil display some uneasiness just as they are about to deal with Dick Fuller. They consider winning the favoritism of a powerful man like Fuller will take their industrial lubricants places because he is a powerful man. In that cutthroat world, they need this powerful man to succeed. At the same time, Brazil depicts a totalitarian government that has the power to prevent other people to work together. For instance, Jill’s efforts to help Mrs. Buttle were blocked by bureaucracy.

Labor relations are always complicated by the fact that any mistake is normally blamed on those who are of a lower protocol. Whenever a mistake is done by those in power, they are likely to find ways of blaming it on those who are lower in the ranks. An explicit depiction of this fact is the labeling of Jill as a terrorist by the government as a cover-up for their mistake in Brazil. The government labeled Jill as a terrorist because she could have unearthed the mistakes that they did that led to the death of Mr. Buttler. In The Big Kahuna, the rookie ends up being blamed for the mistakes that Larry and Phil did during coaching. Clearly, Phil and Larry must have done a shoddy job in training Bob leading him to his failure in pitching the ideals of the business to Mr. Fuller.

There are numerous kinds of labor relations and these are normally guided by the ideals of individuals as well as personal and industrial principles. The Big Kahuna and Brazil are explicit examples of relations between employers and employees, the government and the proletariat, the elite and the working class and the relationships among the labor providers. The films confirm that these relations are normally guided by power and authority that also dictate bureaucracy. The performance of the working class is dictated upon by the elite and they always work hard to please the people with more power.


Leap. T. (2015). Collective bargaining and labor relations. Chicago: Prentice hall.

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