[Last Film I Saw] Life Of Brian (1979)

Title: Life Of Brian
Year: 1979
Country: UK
Language: English, Latin
Genre: Comedy
Director: Terry Jones
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Terry Gilliam
Eric Idle
Terry Jones
Michael Palin
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Terry Gilliam
Eric Idle
Terry Jones
Michael Palin
Sue Jones-Davies
Spike Milligan
Rating: 6.1/10

My first film with the entire crew from Monty Python (their third feature-length film), whilst I count out Terry Gilliam’s TIME BANDITS (1981), which is sort of a post-break-up solo activity (in spite of Cleese and Palin’s participation).

What can I say? Due to the cultural disparity, comedy maybe the most possible film genre which is predisposed to feel outdated, especially for those from non-native audience. I could only squeeze some scattered laughter to cater for the film, which is a parody of the life of Jesus Christ grafted in a mistaken Messiah with a hotchpotch of haphazard mess and ridicule.

Maybe the film should have a default setting for its viewers, because being an agnostic, I could hardly get the film, thus there is a possibility if one acquires more religious backdrops, there is a chance he or she could appreciate it more. Also it is a perplexing question mark in my mind, how could this film manages a 8.2 out of 10 rating and listed among top 250 in IMDB? (I had the same doubt when encountering THE PRINCESS BRIDE 1987).

So back to the film itself, the acting is fairly passable (John Cleese and Michael Palin are hilarious in their deadpan performances, but the mis-pronunciation gags are a bit over-abused). Among all the intentional tricks, the paragraphs of pursuing the Messiah and Eric Idle’s rib-tickling Loretta are my picks.

It is no surprise this religious satire would provoke some blasphemy controversy, but the nerves and unconventionality are what should be admired, but if we separate the film from any context liaisons, the film is merely a modest farce, take the example of the ending, when the crucifixion scenes arrive, a sudden bathos ultimately reduces any putative knockout accompanied by the schmaltzy rendition of ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE (which I find enjoys a more suitable circumstances in AS GOOD AS IT GETS 1997).


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