After watching the trailer to A Liar’s Autobiography, which the co-directors have subtitled ‘The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, a part of me was rather excited by it. Now, after seeing the film, I would like nothing more than to go back in time and kick that part of me straight in the balls.
Told in different styles of animation, and narrated by the man himself using past recordings, you’d think you were in for a quirky, unique and informative pseudo-documentary in the same vein of the personality of the man it’s profiling. However, what it actually amounts to is a mess of sketches that neither inform nor entertain. Trying so hard to be different and stand out which, thinking about it, it succeeds in doing – but for all the wrong reasons.
The stylistic choices might look like fun in a two-minute trailer but to have that extended over 82 painstaking minutes, let’s just say, it gets old. Quick. They have a deeply interesting individual to research and it would have avoided them creating an annoying and irritating experience that feels like a burning itch you can’t seem to get rid of.
They tried something different and ambitious and I know we should applaud that, but this is just so far from the mark. Attempting and failing to recreate the magic of Python with its kooky animations and bizarre sense of humour. It’s simply left wanting, plus, it’s quite revealing how lacking the film is when the two highlights are a clip of an actual Python sketch and the John Cleese eulogy video, each which I’ve seen numerous times
Actually void of sentiment, A Liar’s Autobiography lingers like an acidic sting in the bottom of your stomach long after the credits begin to roll. It doesn’t deserve your attention and it doesn’t deserve your time, just do yourself a favour and watch the man perform. Watch YouTube interviews, sketches, movies because you will get a much better idea of why this man was so special by doing that than watching this documentary. I really wanted to love this, I really did, and it pains me to write this review, but unfortunately, it’s just a crushing disappointment.