|Fig 1 - Monty Python and the Holy Grail Poster|
What to say about Monty Python and the Holy Grail... I can't say I've ever been a fan of this 70's comedy troupe, although I can appreciate that their comedic approach was a heavily influential one which paved the way for countless others to produce "completely different" material. However, I do recognise Terry Gilliam to be a perfectly capable director with the right material, having seen and enjoyed other works of his including Brazil (1985) and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). In the case of Holy Grail, I was very wary of it's pop culture grandeur going in and found that I'd had quite a few of the jokes already spoiled for me throughout the years. I did chuckle here and there, but for the most part I found myself imagining its many over-quoted lines being bellowed by world-weary middle aged men down the pub.
|Fig 2 - Monty Python and the Holy Grail - King Arthur and his Squire|
I really wanted to like the film, but overall I didn't have a great time with it. I'm not particularly sentimental to the pathos of all-things-British, so nothing within the back-and-forth delivery of some scenes appealed to my sense of humour. I do realise that this is a much beloved film for some, and I can see why, but I feel as though comedy has changed somewhat in the past 40 years that makes a lot of the 'kooky encounters' feel a bit try-hard and irreverent to the plot. It just didn't feel as dangerous and meta as I'd been lead to believe. I don't think the state of the comedy genre is in a particularly great place at present, but I expected more from a film with such a legacy behind it. Perhaps I am just a cynical millennial, but rather than a film it felt like a guerrilla cut of a bunch of men playing dress-up around some rented-out castles.
Fig. 1 Monty Python and the Holy Grail Poster (1975) From: Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Directed by: Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones
Fig. 2 Monty Python and the Holy Grail Screenshot (1975) From: Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Directed by: Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones