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

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

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.