Monty Python's Life of Brian

"Excellent"

Monty Python's Life of Brian Review


The year was 1979 and the world was threatened by fundamentalism. Following the end of a prosperous period, people had begun to become mistrustful again. Right-wingers were beginning to weed their way into the political landscape, and the hearts of men and the stupidity of the recklessly religious were creating the large voting bloc that we have today.

And a bunch of brilliant Brits had to do bugger with it.

The official Python response to the ultimate stupidity of blind faith and a lack of knowledge of religious context is Monty Python's Life of Brian, the story of the man born in the manger next to Christ. Misunderstood and eventually mistaken for a messiah, Brian becomes the man of action within a myriad of groups fighting for the liberation of the Jews from the Romans.

Sadly, these groups are more concerned with fighting each other than uniting and fighting the common enemy.

Pick your parallel - this Python piece can hit up almost any social and political parody while still taking time for alien abductions, crucifixion checklists, and a pair of Romans with bad names and speech impediments.

The Python pack does an amazing job of mixing inane humor with political commentary that is even more relevant now that it was when it was first released. To date is about the only movie that puts Christ is proper social context. Unlike The Passion of the Christ (or The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre, as I have heard it called), which implicitly paints the picture of Christ as the one and old person ever executed as a messiah, Life of Brian paints an accurate picture of the time: holy men and messiahs were common and conflicted characters, and it wasn't anything out of the ordinary to see one, two, three, or a hundred people put to death on the cross.

The only problems that Life of Brian has are technical: Its special effects and camerawork are pitiful, and its sound mix is so bad that you'll wish for a normalization feature on a DVD player to even it all out. Hopefully the theatrical re-release will clean up the audio and let people focus on the funny parts.

Technical issues not withstanding, Life of Brian stands as Python's best effort at mixing great gags with cultural commentary. Pundits may point out that it might not be their funniest film ever, but I'll take a bad Python over a good modern comedy any day.



Facts and Figures

Box Office Worldwide: $20M

Budget: $4M

Production compaines: Handmade Films Ltd., Python (Monty) Pictures Limited

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Brian Cohen, as Arthur, as Crucifee, as Mr. Cheeky, as Mandy Cohan, as Wise Man #3, as Gregory, as Mrs. Gregory, as Jesus, Gwen Taylor as Mrs. Big Nose, as Judith, John Case as Pilate's Wife, as A Weedy Samaritan, as False Prophet / Blind Man / Giggling Guard / Stig, John Young as Matthias, Andrew MacLachlan as Another Official Stoners Helper / Giggling Guard, Bernard McKenna as Parvus / Official Stoners Helper / Giggling Guard, as Mr. Papadopolous, as Alfonso / Giggling Guard

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.