Film review: A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman (15)


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The Independent Culture

This animated "biopic" of former "Python" Chapman is a frustrating endeavour. It is narrated from beyond the grave by Chapman (who died in 1989) himself. (He had recorded an audio version of his memoirs.)

Although the film gives us a strong sense of Chapman's quixotic personality, the storytelling is wayward and impressionistic. Chapman is a funny but extremely unreliable narrator. We get little of the context or detail that might have been found in a documentary. Nor is there much sense of drama.

Everything about the film, from the different styles of animation to Chapman's narration, is anarchic and chaotic. There are some glorious moments along the way (Chapman holding forth on sex or evoking his early wartime childhood in surrealistic fashion) but also some very insipid and baffling ones.