Did Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ Predict the Future of Woke-Ness?


 

Look on the bright side of life… What movie better lampoons religion than this Monty Python classic? But no matter the religion, it has – and always will – be a taboo subject for many. In today’s politically correct, volatile climate, the Monty Python troupe would be publicly martyred. But with me they’d still be a huge hit!

 

I saw it first on HBO and thought it was superbly witty. Much has been focused on the supposed “sacrilege” of the movie, of which there really isn’t any if one takes a good look at it. The main thrust, however, is at fanaticism in general and the fanaticism that is ruthlessly skewered in the movie is political fanaticism. Leftists originally watching the film probably squirmed in their seats when they first saw it because they are realistically portrayed as being pedantic, hair splitting, dogmatic, vicious, endlessly feuding with other groups of fanatics who have the same goals as theirs, constantly engaging the verbal diarrhea, posturing at being holier than thou.

 

Stephen Green at PJ Media attributes an amazing amount of prophetic skill to Monty Python’s Life of Brian, calling it “the most prescient movie ever made.”

 

[…] the flick was wrongly derided four decades ago by the very people who might find it gob-smackingly funny today.

Life of Brian was vigorously protested during its U.S. release by various groups who believed — apparently without having seen the movie — that it was anti-Christian.

Nothing could be further from the truth. There are only two appearances by Jesus in the movie, one of which is off-screen. The first is the night of Jesus’ birth (Brian’s, too) and what little we see is true to the Bible.

Well, except for the part where the Three Wise Men first tried to deliver their gifts to baby Brian in the manger next door.

In the other scene, years later, we briefly see Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount. No mockery is made of Jesus or His message.

Of all the jokes, gags, and barbs thrown in every direction, Jesus is the only figure shown respect. Monty Python trouper Eric Idle later said of Jesus, “What he’s saying isn’t mockable, it’s very decent stuff.”

For a non-believing, take-no-prisoners comedian like Idle, that’s practically a whole-hearted endorsement.

Instead, the film — Python’s only real film, the others were basically collections of sketches, even Holy Grail — is anti-authoritarian, anti-fanaticism, anti-nihilism, and anti-humorless prigs.

Life of Brian is, however, very pro-funny.

The Pythons even saved their sharpest barbs for political extremists and self-deluded lefties.

 

Monty Python's The life of Brian - I want to be a woman

 

There was one aspect of the movie that I did not like, but others will, and it is one of the trademarks of the Monty Python crew and that was that the same actors were in multiple roles throughout the movie. Some fans of the team may like that, but I personally would have preferred that they had employed additional actors for the roles. 

 

At its core, Life of Brian was a satirical film about the industry’s fascination with cinematic adaptations of religious stories. It is currently available on Netflix.


Todd Fisher

Todd lives in Northern California with "the wife," "the kids," "the dogs," "that cat," and he occasionally wears pants. His upcoming release, "Are You Woke Enough Yet?", is the culmination of too much time on social media and working in the film industry.

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