Film: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Summary: Very funny, but the sum of its parts is better than the whole.
This movie is a comedy set in Britain in the middle ages. If you've
seen anything by the Monty Python lads before, you can probably
already guess whether you'll like it or not, as it uses the same
surreal humour as their other films and original TV show. If you
like their humour, it's worth watching just for the ability to quote
it with friends. If not, then you probably won't like this any more
than anything else of theirs.
It's clear from the very first shot that the team was on a tight
budget - they couldn't even afford to have the characters riding on
horses. Instead, the characters bang two halves of coconuts together.
Rather than ignore this, they instead go as far as to make the
absurdity of Britons in the middle ages having access to such exotic
fruit a running joke for the entire movie.
Each individual scene is very funny, and any one of them would be
worth watching in its own right, even in isolation. The invincible
black knight scene in particular is a classic moment in the history
This was the first film by the Monty Python lads, and it's obvious
that they were only used to loosely stringing together unrelated
sketches. There's no real plot to speak of, and it comes across
like a patchwork quilt of different ideas and stories that have been
haphazardly meshed together. There's no rising conflict or satisfying
ending, just a lot of funny moments strung together in a story that
eventually just fizzles out.
Although this film makes a lousy whole story, each of its parts is
fantastic in its own right. As long as you don't expect a plot, or
any sort of sense at all for that matter, it's a collection of
brilliant sketches that happen to be set in the same era. This makes
it unique in that it's just as enjoyable to watch one or two specific
scenes as it is to watch it all the way through.
To avoid disappointment, try not to have any expectations of what
it should be like. If you want to watch something that makes sense
as a single story, try Monty Python's more coherent film, the Life
of Brian, or even the romantic medieval comedy The Princess Bride
instead. If you just want to watch something funny, and don't need
a story, try Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It's hilarious and
filled with classic scenes.