Monty Python's Life of Brian Reviews
The story must be fairly well known. Brian is born at the same time as Jesus with whom he leads a kind of parallel life, thus allowing the team to lampoon and satirise everything from religious zealotry and mob hysteria to 1950s biblical/sword & sandals epic cinema. It does this by marrying historic situations with more modern attitudes; thus we have revolutionary Stan who wants to be Loretta and have the right to have babies, the old man who can't understand why he's being stoned for saying simply "that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah!" the gruff centurion correcting Brian's Latin grammar while he's trying to daub anti-Roman slogans on a wall and the gentle centurion asking each of a line of the condemned "crucifixion? Good" while ticking them off on his clipboard. Interspersed with this is slapstick, pantomime women (I'm not sure there are any real women in Python, which is probably its greatest failing) and a small amount of the trademark Python surrealism (the spaceship, the "prophet" talking about the sons misplacing the things owned by their fathers who had placed them down only just a moment ago... etc). In short, something for everyone - except, perhaps, committed Christians.
A lot of attention has been paid to whether LoB is blasphemous. The Pythons claim not and I'm not sufficiently religious to care very much. On the surface, I disagree. There are also occasional sideswipes at ancient Jewish custom - although, to be fair, only stoning which, if you'll pardon the pun, might be considered a fair target. Jesus is not criticised, but the film's central message seems to be; be in the right place at the right time and even a man called Brian can become God. Almost the last line is from Eric Idle saying; "you come from nothing and go back to nothing" which doesn't suggest that the man on the mount at the beginning is a divinity, no matter whether he's talking sense or not.
Most importantly though, LoB is refreshingly satirical. There always was an element of this in Python (mediaeval Christian philosophy lampooned in the Holy Grail for example "this new learning amazes me Sir Bedevere, explain again how sheeps' bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes... so, if she weighs the same as a duck, she must be made of wood, and therefore - a witch". I guess LoB attracted attention because the satire had never been so bold or obvious before. This is also what makes LoB such an incredibly funny film to watch; but put it this way - despite what Rowan Atkinson may have once said - I'd be very surprised if the Python's weren't expecting the Spanish Inquisition.
That shouldn't put you off, though. Unless your faith is too weak to survive Python's gentle humanism, watch this movie - you'll probably love it.
'leave that Welsh tart alone'
Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.
The British comedy troupe Monty Python had always been on the edge of controversy ever since their show "Flying Circus" appeared on the BBC in the late 1960s, but nothing had prepared the world for what Life of Brian had brought. In Life of Brian, the comedians go after the one institution that has always had trouble accepting satire: religion, specifically the Christian Church. Seen as blasphemous, Life of Brian needed an eleventh hour rescue for Beatle George Harrison to finish the film. The church was wise to wonder what the Pythons were doing. Life of Brian is filled with questions of the role of religion in society, why people often feel they need religion, and the age old question of "What would happen if the 3 wise men went to the wrong stable on that night they brought gifts to the young savior?" There is typical Python silliness throughout the movie, set up early where listeners at one of Jesus' sermons (held at "tea time," of course) think they hear that "blessed are the cheese makers." But the most important part of this film, and it's charm, are the questions of religion. No matter your faith, you will find scenes in Life of Brian unsettling, provocative, and humorous, possibly all three at once. While not wall-to-wall as funny as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian is a humorous look at civilization's oldest and dearest institutions, and asks us to consider what we are doing.
I was wetting myself all the way through this movie and i love the awesome song at the end its just brilliant!
Shouldnt be missed at all!!
An apostasy of biblical proportions.