Monty Python delivers a scathing, anarchic satire of both religion and Hollywood's depiction of all things biblical with their second film. The setting is Judea 33 A.D., a time of poverty and chaos, with no shortage of messiahs, followers willing to believe in them, and exasperated Romans trying to impose some order. At the centre of it all is Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman), a reluctant would-be messiah who rises to prominence as a result of a series of absurd and truly hilarious circumstances providing ample opportunity for the entire ensemble (John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Chapman) to shine in multiple roles as they mock everyone and everything from ex-lepers, Pontius Pilate, and the art of haggling to crazy prophets, Roman centurions, and crucifixion.
Quite possibly my favourite all time film
- Monty Python's Life of Brian review by AM
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I can quote whole screeds of this film. It is, simply, the greatest comedy of all time, and I have watched it countless times in the last 25 years.
Of course, there is controversy around it. A friend from university initially refused to watch it, understanding it to be a satire on the life of Christ. Eventually persuaded to 'try it', after I assured him that the film makes it very plain that Brian is NOT Christ, he ended up on the floor in tears of laughter.