Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman) is born in Judaea on the very same day as
Jesus and only a few stables away from the messiah - which is why the
Three Wise Men (John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin) almost confuse
little Brian for the real McCoy ...
Later in life, Brian has grown up to be a man who is a wage-slave to
the Roman occupants on one hand, but he's also receptive to the teachings
of Jesus (Kenneth Colley) and before long joins the People's Front of
Judaea, led by Reg (John Cleese), where he also meets Judith (Sue
Jones-Davies), the woman he falls in love with.
Eventually he takes part in a kidnapping plot where all of his
colleagues are slaughtered though - though not by the Romans but a
rivalling resistance group - and he finds himself running from the Romans.
And while on the run, Brian has to pose as a preacher - and wouldn't you
know it, accidently he is mistaken for the messiah and without any effort
of his own attracts a large following - pretty much the last thing a man
on the run needs. Consequently the Romans catch him before long and
crucify him - and even his friends from the Prople's Front rather let him
die on the cross and become a martyr than to free him.
But that said, the film still ends with a song, Always Look on the
Bright Side of Life, sung by the guy (Eric Idle) on the cross next to
The Monty Pythons' take on epic movies and especially
bible movies: A wild satire on anything from religion to politics to Latin
lessons - and yet to this day, the film is much more relevant than more
literal Jesus movies like Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ
(2004), mainly because Life of Brian, beneath all the comedy, adds
a layer of reflection to the genre not usually found in films of that ilk.
That all said, the main attraction of the film though is that it's
wickedly funny, with the Monty Pythons being on top of their
game both writing and acting-wise, plus other than in Monty Python and
the Holy Grail - which is of course great fun in its own right -, this
time around the troupe managed to integrate their gags into a coherent
whole which is competently put to the screen by Terry Jones - which all
results in a truly great comedy.