Reviewed: A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (2012)

11167097_800Graham Chapman is dead and has been for a number of years. Before this however, he did a number of things that he felt were worth writing about in a particular fashion that leads you to wonder how much of it was actually true. What is true is that he befriended a young John Cleese prior to the invention of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the rest of that part is history. This story fills in bits of the before and after moments of this particular Python.

This film exists because at some point or other, after having written his memoir, Chapman decided to record himself reading it and through the magic of technology he is able to narrate as well as star in this film posthumously. A handful of the other lads drop in to take care of various supporting roles with a standout cameo by Cameron Diaz getting rather silly as well.

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The nature of a written memoir is often segmented – dropping in and out of the authors’ life at given moments – and this is no exception. The way it’s been handled in this one is by giving each segment a different animation style (by the way, this is animated. Did I mention that? I’m pretty sure I should have).

Each segment has been given to a different animation house to interpret it in any way they choose which means we have some rather drastic changes in visual quality every now and then. Some is very good and some… well, not so great and it’s because of this that I can’t run out and tell everyone that this is essential viewing.

Actually, I’m pretty sure this will only really appeal to Python fans who want a little insight into the mysterious life of Chapman (fans of the man himself will no doubt already be familiar with the original book) or those that need one last dose of Python before the rest of them end up the way of the ill-fated Norwegian Blue.

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