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The Meaning of Life (Monty Python) - Movie Review

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

As with all movies on this website, our goal is not to provide a complete synopsis of the film, but rather to document how the movie relates to the meaning of life. With that said, be forewarned, there are still spoilers ahead.

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life was released in 1983, directed by Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. Those familiar with and enjoy Monty Python movies won't be disappointed by this epic comedy.

The film takes us on a seven-part journey of life, starting with birth, and ending with death.

Part I - The Miracle of Birth (Part 2 of Part I - The Third World)

Part II - Growth and Learning

Part III - Fighting Each Other

Part IV - Middle Age

Part V - Live Organ Transplants

Part VI - The Autumn Years

Part VI B - The Meaning of Life

Part VII - Death

A group of financial auditors in the opening rebel against the corporation, in what can only be described as a strange mix Pirates of the Caribbean and Mad Max. Beyond that, between life, death, and rebelling against the man, there isn't much going on besides a lot of nonsense, sexual jokes, more sexual jokes, and puking—classic Monty Python.

So then what does the film say about the meaning of life? Well, despite philosophical teasing here and there, the movie doesn't really touch on the topic until the end, stating:

Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.

According to a corporation that studied the topic extensively, it found that the meaning of life can be reduced to two concepts:

1) People aren't wearing enough hats

2) Matter is energy

People also get distracted by trivial matters such as wearing or not wearing hats and forget about finding purpose.

Perhaps the moral of the story is simply not to take life too seriously, after all, we all die in the end; and as per the cleaning lady in The Autumn Years:

I used to work in the Académie Française, but it didn't do me any good at all. And I once worked in the library in the Prado in Madrid, but it didn't teach me nothing, I recall. And the Library of Congress you would have thought would hold some key, but it didn't, and neither did the Bodlean Library. In the British Museum I hoped to find some clue. I worked there from nine till six, read every volume through, but it didn't teach me nothing about life's mystery.

Movie rating: Overall - 6 Meaning of Life Relevance - 5 Uniqueness - 8

Did you see the movie? If so, what did you think? Are people buying enough hats?

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