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Monty Python's Life of Brian

(1979, Jones)
A comedy film

"Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't NEED to follow ME, You don't NEED to follow ANYBODY! You've got to think for your selves! You're ALL individuals!"

Christianity and religion overall have always been a touchy subject to discuss in regular conversations, to the point that some locals, bars, and restaurants put up signs that read "No religion and no politics" to avoid scuffles and fights, while most people will advise you to avoid the topic on, say, a family or business diner, or even a first date. Touchy subject to discuss, let alone, mock and parody in a feature film; unless you're the Monty Python comedy troupe, of course.

Set in 33 AD, Life of Brian follows the, well, life of Brian (Graham Chapman), a young, regular Jewish guy that is somehow mistaken for the Messiah. Despite his reluctance, he ends up being followed both by people who want to praise him as well as soldiers that want to silence and imprison him.

In typical Monty Python fashion, the film features its ensemble cast playing numerous roles, while taking jabs at organized religion and institutions, among many other things. The group manages a great mix of silly and clever jokes, with doses of absurdity all through. To that effect, I was really surprised at how many of the jokes really land. The peak for me was the whole sequence when the crowd harasses and pursues Brian to the mountain, resulting in some great exchanges that highlight the somewhat contradictory nature of religion.

Brian: I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand? Honestly!
Woman: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.
Brian: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!
Followers: He is! He is the Messiah!
As was expected, the film was condemned, censored, and banned by some religious groups and countries, while also becoming a critically acclaimed box-office hit that's often considered one of the best comedies made. So I suppose you can always look at the bright side of life.