Sunday, August 7, 2011

25. "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" from The Life of Brian

The gall these guys had.  I mean really, who would dare try to stage a musical number in which all the participants are literally tied in place.  There's no movement.  Nothing happens.  They just sing.  Way  be weird, Pythons.

If Life of Brian claims the title of my favorite Monty Python outing, then it's got to be because this number so magnificently seals the deal.  They've had a lot of fun with musical numbers over the years - and I was very tempted include the sidesplitting "Every Sperm is Sacred" on this countdown - but here's the one the one that caps their magnum opus, their most cohesive and satirically charged film as a troupe.  Religion is serious stuff, and it's no easy task mining jokes from the rather gruesome idea of crucifixion, but that's all the more justification for this relentlessly infectious ditty.  For films that are inherent lightning rods for controversy, and no way could Life of Brian be excluded from this, it's pivotal to stick the landing, and settling on a tone to go out on isn't easy.  All the more reason why this final scene is so impressive.  While not shying away from the taboos that the Pythons played with throughout the film, it goes out with a song in its heart, but kudos to them for coming up with one so utterly uplifting, not to mention the brilliant juxtaposition.  Because all satire needn't aim to offend, and while you're never going to please anyone, this to me is the perfect example of how to get that recipe just right.  Even the detractors won't be getting that tune out of their heads any time soon.

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