Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

The Black Knight always triumphs!
If for some absurd reason you haven't seen this film yet go out and buy it right now. However, assuming you have seen it I think it's rather a tossup between this and the Princess Bride for the funniest movie ever in existence. British Comedy is generally more humorous than its American counterparts, pure Slapstick which seems to be the American Norm just isn't all that funny if you have more than a few braincells. This movie, Snatch, and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels are some of my favorite films, all of them very british and very humorous. Conversely I don't think Life of Brian is all that great particularly compared to this movie.

Almost every scene in this movie is memorably hilarious for one reason or another. As a result there are endless references to be had that have little or no interconnection. The Black Knight is a stoic symbol of courage in these troubled times, "I'll bite your kneecaps off" indeed. Where does Arthur find those Coconuts, perhaps a Swallow carried them from a different climate? It also seems like John Cleese, who is rarely funny in non Monty Python movies, has every funny role in this movie. Lancelot who murders 15 people and then apologizes "I just get carried away," and the opportunistic father at the same castle with the great line "Let's not worry about who killed who, this is a happy day!"

The ending of the film is where it disconnects and officially becomes "too british" to be funny, wherein they set the stage for an epic battle scene and then end it randomly because Police show up in the middle ages for no particular reason. I don't really care that there wasn't a scene at the end but some sort of memorable occurrence would have been nice (aside from the French reappearing). A few of the scenes in this film are fairly overrated, such as the first appearance of the French, but they're still pretty funny if not masterful. While the Princess Bride is mostly inferred Comedy this movie is a tad more direct and isn't really constructed around a plot, random events happen as the movie goes on like an Odyssean journey. While I wouldn't really pick one over the other and just tell people to watch both I guess that could be a reason to watch this as it's much easier to "get" than some of the Princess Bride's humor.

Comedy films are difficult to judge from an overall sense, as picking a comedic film as your favorite across all genres makes you look foolish for some odd reason. I'd be hard pressed to pick a better film than this or the Princess Bride, but since either is non serious and somewhat disconnected from thematic elements they seem just a tad weaker than some extremely good dramatic pictures available. Suffice to say there is no more courageous set of characters in Cinema than Brave, Brave Sir Robin, who bravely ran away, bravely ran away away, brave brave Sir Robin!, Lancelot the bloodthirsty psychopath, or the Black Knight who fights on even with no limbs. I won't link to every scene in the film but here's the Black Knight for brevity.

Final Score: 9.5/10

Aside: Always look on the bright side of life

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