Saturday, January 13, 2007

Movie Review: Monty Python’s Life Of Brian 4 Stars

Monty Python isn’t funniest when they are sophisticated and clever and subtle and satirical. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin are at their absolute best when they are being flat-out silly.

Life Of Brian is all those aforementioned things, especially heavy on the silly and complete with a healthy dose of sacrilege. A blasphemous satire on the greatest story ever told, the Life of Brian follows the escapades of hapless Brian of Nazareth (Graham Chapman).

Born in the manger next door to Jesus at about the same time, Brian grows up in Judea, your average Jew. When he joins the People’s Front of Judea to woo the conspiratorial Judith (Sue Jones-Davies), his radical exploits land him an audience with local governor, Pontius Pilate (Michael Palin). After he escapes from certain death, Brian’s flight from justice inadvertently introduces him to a gaggle of zealots who mistake him for the messiah. The more he denies it, the more his followers believe and soon, his legend attracts the Roman legions, who, ‘natch, crucify him.

About as irreligious as you can possibly get and still avoid angry bolts of lightning, Life Of Brian is hilarious, if you don’t have any sacred cows. Quotable bits a’plenty for the theater major and engineering student in all of us.

My favorite silliness: The Biggus Dickus gigglefest.

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