Review: Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983)

Directed by: Terry Jones | 107 minutes | comedy, fantasy, musical | Actors: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Carol Cleveland, Simon Jones, Patricia Quinn, Judy Loe, Andrew MacLachlan, Mark Holmes, Valerie Whittington, Jennifer Franks, Imogen Bickford-Smith, Angela Mann, Peter Lovstrom, George Silver, Chris Grant

After The Life of Brian and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life is the third film from the illustrious six of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. However, a real movie cannot really be called “The Meaning of Life”. It is more of a collection of separate sketches in the tradition of the TV series “Monthy Python’s Flying Circus”, but with the running time of an average movie. Each sketch deals with a certain phase of life that every person in principle goes through (for example, birth, adolescence, adulthood, death) or answers an important life question. Despite the fact that there is no real storyline or the presence of fixed characters, the theme of life is the leitmotiv of the story. “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life” opens with two entertaining skits on the theme of birth and ends with a play in which death visits a remote farm.

Logically, not all sketches are equally successful, but most of the jokes are very original and well developed. We meet a teacher who puts an extremely original twist on the concept of sex education, two doctors who explain the concept of organ donation in a very unorthodox way, a moving building that functions as a pirate ship and a man who is blessed with a lake. than healthy appetite. In keeping with the Monty Python tradition, the jokes are extraordinarily cynical, at times hard-hitting and therefore quite controversial. For example, “The Life of Brian” and the series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” caused quite a stir in Scotland and have even been banned there in the past. The great strength of the film is that apparently everyday subjects and situations are transformed into absurd sketches that hold up a mirror to viewers and society.

“Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life” is a comedy that, although slightly less than its two predecessors, can nevertheless be considered extremely successful. However, it is not a film that will appeal to everyone, because most of the jokes are very cynical, hard and well thought out, entirely according to proven British recipe. However, fans of this type of humor will be fine with this movie.

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