MOVIE REVIEW: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” stars Graham Chapman (Yellowbeard, The Odd Job), John Cleese (A Fish Called Wanda, Rat Race), Eric Idle (Casper , Quest for Camelot), Terry Gilliam (Jupiter Ascending, Bye Bye Morons), Terry Jones (Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Jabberwocky), Michael Palin (Arthur Christmas, Clangers [TV series]), Connie Booth (High Spirits, The Tomorrow People [TV series]), and Carol Cleveland (Too Much Too Young, Half Moon Street). It is directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, who co-wrote it with Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin.
A comedic take of King Arthur (Chapman) and his quest to obtain the Holy Grail.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been recommended this movie. Countless. Utterly countless. Those who are close to me and know my humor were always surprised that I had never seen “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (even more so that I had never seen any skit by the comedy troupe in general). Now, they can rest assured that I have seen the comedy classic, and have a few words to say on the matter.
British humor is hit or miss for me. There is a darker wit to those brits, and of the few selections I have seen, I wasn’t all that impressed. However, it is safe to say that Monty Python’s Arthurian tale is funny, and holds up decades after its release. The coconuts for horses bit, prince who wants to sing, storybook plot device, and riddle troll were some of my favorites; it’s absurdist humor that leans heavily into meta. There are no rules, with even the setting of medieval times being tested as modern-day British policemen intrude the world with no explanation (other than to make things more chaotic). If you are a fan of wild, zany comedy, this is a sure-fire thrill-ride for you.
Of the Monty Python group, I really only know John Cleese. Well… Terry Gillam as well, but in watching the film, I spotted Cleese easily. The man made an impression on my childhood, starring in a few notable kid favorites including “Pink Panther 2” and “Rat Race.” He managed to get a laugh out of me then, and he still does now, only this time he’s wearing chainmail. Everyone in this plays their part well. It’s no wonder they were a successful team, as all of them have wonderful chemistry. Seeing that they all had a hand in writing this as well makes it all the better. I know for myself, one of my dreams is to write and perform with a group of talented individuals (primarily in the realm of comedy). You know in watching this adventure that these lads are having fun, and do not care what anyone else thinks.
Comedy is a tricky genre to write toward. It’s the most subjective, as everyone has their own brand of humor they subscribe to. I enjoyed what Monty Python brought to the table, though not every joke landed for me. There were quite a few times I rolled my eyes, and I will admit that the ending left me… agitated. For those of you who have not seen this film, it ends abruptly. As if the group didn’t really know how to properly finish out this story, nor cared to think on it much. It’s honestly a slap to the face, and I’m still not sure if I appreciate it or not. After all, it is a comedy. But boy, was I frustrated.
It’s easy to set up a movie for disappointment when it is over-hyped. However, Monty Python lived up to the recommendation. While I wasn’t privy to all the jokes performed (or the conclusion of the adventure), I was highly entertained and laughed quite a bit. It’s mindless entertainment that brings a smile to my face, and if you find yourself wanting an escape from the challenges of life, this will surely lift your spirits. That is, if you love chaotic, absurd humor. From what I can tell, a lot of people enjoy this picture, so there isn’t much doubt in my mind that you will too. If you find yourself looking for something funny to watch, look no further. This one is a good pick. FINAL SCORE: 85%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: