Unveiling ‘Monkey Man’: Dev Patel’s Journey from Underdog to Action Hero

Monkey man


British-American actor Dev Patel is making his directorial debut with Monkey Man, a much-talked-about action-packed story that promises to bring a fresh perspective to revenge thrillers. The film is said to be a blend of Indian culture, religion, and ceaseless action.


As a first-time director, Patel is expected to bring an innovative approach to the movie. The stunts have been designed in a gritty and raw manner, making the violence feel animalistic.


Monkey Man is an ambitious film that seeks to explore themes of faith, caste system, and underdog struggles while injecting teachings of Indian mythology into the storytelling. On the surface, the motion picture comes across as a trademark action flick, spearheaded by a seemingly indomitable hero.




What is Monkey Man all about?


The movie introduces us to a true underdog who is forced to go on a killing spree following the murder of his mother. As he withstands hardships to get his revenge, he becomes the Messiah for the powerless and poor, especially those who have been tormented by his foes over time.


Needless to say, this brings a larger cause to his mission and establishes him as a true hero. Dev Patel has gone all out with his maiden directorial effort and is incredibly occupied with promoting his labour of passion and love.


Monkey Man is a full-length feature with a multi-layered storyline, an identity rich with culture, and high-octane fight sequences. Suffice it to say that the ambitious project has a big task at hand: to announce Dev Patel as the next big voice in action cinema, as well as a filmmaker to look forward to in Hollywood.




The trailers of Monkey Man promise non-stop action



The creators of Monkey Man have released two well-crafted promotional videos thus far. They offer the audience a glimpse into the film’s exciting plot and seemingly fast-paced narrative. Universal Pictures unveiled both trailers of the film.


The initial promo showcases Patel’s character in a series of fight sequences, while the second one is more dramatic, as it reveals his mother’s death and his subsequent quest for revenge.




Monkey Man opens to critical acclaim


Monkey Man premiered at the South By Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) to critical acclaim. Both the film and its debutant director received a standing ovation at the festival. The response got Patel teary-eyed, and he expressed his gratitude towards the audience.


The actor-filmmaker later said that he wasn’t expecting the people to applaud his motion picture as the credits rolled. In fact, he didn’t even think anyone was going to show up for the screening.


The team behind Monkey Man is hoping for a positive response upon its theatrical release in India as well. Lord Hanuman enjoys a devoted and huge following within the subcontinent, and the film features a cast of competent Indian actors.


Both these reasons should be adequate to get the movie buffs excited in India.




Monkey Man boasts a talented and diverse cast and crew


Dev Patel


The full-length feature comprises a talented star cast, including Dev Patel, Indian actress Sobhita Dhulipala in her Hollywood debut, Sharlto Copley, Pitobash, Vipin Sharma, Ashwini Kalsekar, Makarand Deshpande, Adithi Kalkunte, and Sikandar Kher.


Patel, pretty much like Lord Hanuman, can be seen embodying strength and courage in Monkey Man. However, we first see the Lion star portraying an anonymous young man who ekes out a meagre living by fighting to lose in an underground fight club, where he can be seen donning a gorilla mask.


Sooner than later, he steps into the shoes of the hero who beats villains victimising the poor and powerless to a pulp. As you’d have guessed by now, the kick-ass star cast promises a satisfying experience that’s completely worth the ticket price.



Money Man has great men working to bring it to you


Aside from Dev Patel, Thunder Road Films is also backing Monkey Man. The unit served as one of the producers of the John Wick franchise. They are joined by Jomon Thomas, Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Ian Cooper, Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Christine Haebler, and Anjay Nagpal as well.


It is imperative to mention that Patel developed the movie from his original story idea. He penned the screenplay along with Paul Angunawela and John Collee, the result of which is the product we are about to catch on celluloid.



What has Dev Patel said about Monkey Man?


Towards the end of March 2024, Patel, in an interview with TODAY, elucidated what it felt like to both star in the produce of the film. The actor added that he’s performed most of his stunts, some so extreme that he ended up breaking a few of his bones.


The Slumdog Millionaire star stressed that he may not be a Jackie Chan but he’s broken his toes, a hand, and a shoulder while shooting for this film. Looks like the pain really did abandon him once it finished teaching him a thing or two.



The inspiration behind Monkey Man


It is no secret that Monkey Man is a subjective action-packed drama that draws inspiration from the Hindu legend of Lord Hanuman, who is revered for his strength and loyalty by a country of over a billion people.


His story also shows him using his might, powers, and indomitable resolve to help a deity rescue their wife. Aside from its aforementioned inspiration, the feature also seems to have several social and political themes injected into its storytelling.


While an attempt is made to shine a spotlight on the Indian Hijra community through the character of Alpha (Vipin Sharma), strong socially conscious undercurrents are also pretty much active when the tale is in full action mode.


Even though the full-length feature has been ambitiously designed, it can threaten to get a tad confusing at times since it strives to focus on too many things at once.


However, we must state that only the average viewer’s patience for chaos and eccentricity will decide the fate of this flick. Irrespective of the box office prospects of this film, one has to take a moment and appreciate that its Oscar-nominated leading star has gone all out to entertain and, therefore, do justice to his audience and perhaps even his heritage.



Monkey Man is an ode to Dev Patel’s heritage:


First things first, Patel’s parents, originally from Nairobi, Kenya, are both of Gujarati Indian descent. Therefore, with Monkey Man, the actor-turned-filmmaker aims to pay tribute to his Gujarati Indian descent.


Not only does he look like a true underdog who is ready to burst out of his suit to take on the bad guys, but he also aims to do so while representing his culture and ancestry.



Monkey Man is Dev Patel’s turn to shine as an action hero


Monkey man


The road to Monkey Man has been a long one and the least we can do is appreciate Patel for getting things done right. Indeed, he anchors the project with a striking leading performance and is ably assisted by his supporting actors.


By the time the film comes to an end, we know that Kid has done his best to join the pantheon of ultracool action heroes. His aim to make an action thriller with deep meaning blended with his South Asian heritage is worth watching.



When will Monkey Man hit the screens?


So far as the United States of America is concerned, Monkey Man is set to be released in theatres on April 5.



Dev Patel’s finest projects and performances thus far


For those who do not know, Dev Patel has been an actor for the better part of his existence. The man took up acting in grade school and was told that he was gifted and impressive in his ability to communicate with the audience by his teacher.


Needless to say, the boy started playing a diverse range of characters creatively at an age when most people didn’t even fully understand what acting truly meant. His flair for art started reflecting on his many screen performances after he established himself as a mainstream performer.


Patel landed an opportunity to appear on-screen in the UK hit show Skins in 2007. He was only 16 at the time and had no prior professional acting experience. The show proved to be lucky for the lad as he started to feature in several mainstream titles soon after.


While his career quickly blew up following the release of the award-winning motion picture Slumdog Millionaire, his range as a performer was also recognised as he went on to receive numerous awards, including a BAFTA and a SAG award.


Today, the actor-filmmaker is acknowledged for his appearance in full-length features and television shows such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Green Knight, Modern Love, Lion, and The Newsroom, to name a few.


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