Monday, 2 January 2017

And Now For Something Completely Different


A rather ironic title considering that this is simply a big screen rehash of some of the best and best known sketches from the TV incarnation of Monty Python's Flying Circus. The end result is sometimes frustrating but it is saved by the quality of a lot of the material.

As it is simply a Greatest Hits, there is no plot or unifying theme to speak of, although, as on the TV show, sketches sometimes run into each other, and there are occasional running gags, and Terry Gilliam's jaw-dropping animations.

The film is directed in a workmanlike fashion by Ian McNaughton, who was behind the camera for most the TV show. No attempt is made to expand on the writing or shooting of the original material, although this may have been down to the minuscule budget and schedule. The whole thing was financed by Playboy as a way to try and break Monty Python in the US, but with less money for the whole thing than Heff spends in a week on pipe cleaners. In addition, and it may be a subjective thing on my part, but some of the sketches felt a little flat without the laughter track that I was used to hearing on the TV show.

A nice introduction to Monty Python for the uninitiated, but no match for the later efforts such as Holy Grail and Life of Brian, where, unlike here, the team would have the chance to engage with and take advantage of the medium.