Monkey Man and the Evolution of Dev Patel

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Swithin
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Monkey Man and the Evolution of Dev Patel

Post by Swithin »

I saw Monkey Man this week. Although I had read a bit about it, I wasn't quite prepared for the violence. The level of blood and gore in the film would even impress Fuad Ramses! But it's more in the line of Bruce Lee. The film has been called a "gory coming out party for Patel."

A skinny Indian boy child ("Kid," who could almost be a young version of Patel in Slumdog), witnesses his mother'r brutal murder by a corrupt policeman, Rana Singh, who destroys Kid's village and sets Kid's mother on fire, after brutally beating her to a pulp. The boy, intent on vengeance, trains to become a fighter and grows up to be a boxer who fights wearing a monkey mask, in honour of the Hindu god Hanuman, with whom he identifies and whom he worships. Kid meticulously plans his life in order to get to the place where he will have the opportunity to kill Rana Singh. Kid's first attempt to kill Rana Singh fails, and he becomes an outlaw. He takes refuge in a temple where a group of Hajira (India's third gender) are also given sanctuary. Kid then takes on the mission to fight for the downtrodden, whilst continuing his mission to avenge his mother's murder.

The film features almost constant violence, but there are enough scenes in the forest, in the temple, with the Harjiras, and in connection with Hanuman, to raise Monkey Man well beyond the level of a mere action film. A climactic scene when Kid returns to kill Rana Singh is stunning, particularly when the Hajira arrive. This is a battle between good and evil, mirroring the battle between Hanuman and Ravanna and his demonic hordes. The film is set against the political turmoil of contemporary India.

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The Hajira arrive, ready to support Kid in the climax
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I've seen several movies with Dev Patel. I liked Slumdog and enjoyed the Marigold films, though those films are a far cry from Monkey Man. I did not like the annoying revisionist David Copperfield film, with Dev in the title role, though that film at least featured an unusally sympathetic Uriah Heep, played by Ben Whishaw. I was disappointed in The Green Knight, which was a revisionist take on an Arthurian myth of which I am fond, but at least Dev as Sir Gawain represented a (very) small step toward the kind of role he plays in Monkey Man.
Last edited by Swithin on April 18th, 2024, 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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NoShear
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Re: Monkey Man and the Evolution of Dev Patel

Post by NoShear »

Swithin wrote: April 18th, 2024, 8:28 pm I saw Monkey Man this week. Although I had read a bit about it, I wasn't quite prepared for the violence. The level of blood and gore in the film would even impress Fuad Ramses! But it's more in the line of Bruce Lee. The film has been called a "gory coming out party for Patel."

A skinny Indian boy child ("Kid," who could almost be a young version of Patel in Slumdog), witnesses his mother'r brutal murder by a corrupt policeman, Rana Singh, who destroys Kid's village and sets Kid's mother on fire, after brutally beating her to a pulp. The boy, intent on vengeance, trains to become a fighter and grows up to be a boxer who fights with a monkey mask, in honour of the Hindu god Hanuman, with whom he identifies and whom he worships. Kid meticulously plans his life in order to get to the place where he will have the opportunity to kill Rana Singh. Kid's first attempt to kill Rana Singh fails, and he becomes an outlaw. He takes refuge in a temple where a group of Hajira (India's third gender) are also given sanctuary. Kid then takes on the mission to fight for the downtrodden, whilst continuing his mission to avenge his mother's murder.

The film features almost constant violence, but there are enough scenes in the forest, in the temple, with the Harjiras, and in connection with Hanuman, to raise Monkey Man well beyond the level of a mere action film. A climactic scene when Kid returns to kill Rana Singh is stunning, particularly when the Hajira arrive. This is a battle between good and evil, mirroring the battle between Hanuman and Ravanna and his demonic hordes. The film is set against the political turmoil of contemporary India.

Image
Image
Image

Image
The Hajira arrive, ready to support Kid in the climax
Image

I've seen several movies with Dev Patel. I like Slumdog and enjoyed the Marigold films, though those films are a far cry from Monkey Man. I did not like the annoying revisionist David Copperfield film, with Dev in the title role, though that film at least featured an unusally sympathetic Uriah Heel, played by Ben Whishaw. I was disappointed in The Green Knight, which was a revisionist take on an Arthurian myth of which I am fond, but at least Dev as Sir Gawain represented a (very) small step toward the kind of role he plays in Monkey Man.
Your review's subject title was worth the proverbial price of admission alone, Swithin.
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laffite
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Re: Monkey Man and the Evolution of Dev Patel

Post by laffite »

Great review but TMI in my view. I doubt I would want to watch it, it's spoiled. It's rare that I pick on Swithin, he is worlds above me. And I am always intent on knowing as little as possible about a film, tabula rasa for me, if possible (rare). I may not know what's going on early, with some difficult films, and in such cases am not averse to getting a reality check. I won't read a full review but a few lines to get centered. Thank you NoShear and Swithin.
Chicago 1930 ; illustration from the paperback book jacket of The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow, published 1953
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Swithin
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Re: Monkey Man and the Evolution of Dev Patel

Post by Swithin »

laffite wrote: April 18th, 2024, 9:34 pm Great review but TMI in my view. I doubt I would want to watch it, it's spoiled. It's rare that I pick on Swithin, he is worlds above me. And I am always intent on knowing as little as possible about a film, tabula rasa for me, if possible (rare). I may not know what's going on early, with some difficult films, and in such cases am not averse to getting a reality check. I won't read a full review but a few lines to get centered. Thank you NoShear and Swithin.
I spoiled it on purpose just for you laffite, because I know the film wouldn't suit you and didn't even want you to think about seeing it! You see laffite, because I am "worlds above" you, I know the best way to reach you. :)
Last edited by Swithin on April 19th, 2024, 6:24 am, edited 3 times in total.
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laffite
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Re: Monkey Man and the Evolution of Dev Patel

Post by laffite »

Swithin wrote: April 18th, 2024, 9:42 pm
laffite wrote: April 18th, 2024, 9:34 pm Great review but TMI in my view. I doubt I would want to watch it, it's spoiled. It's rare that I pick on Swithin, he is worlds above me. And I am always intent on knowing as little as possible about a film, tabula rasa for me, if possible (rare). I may not know what's going on early, with some difficult films, and in such cases am not averse to getting a reality check. I won't read a full review but a few lines to get centered. Thank you NoShear and Swithin.
I spoiled it on purpose just for you laffite, because I knew it wouldn't suit you and didn't even want you to think about seeing it! You see laffite, because I am "worlds above" you, I know the best way to reach you. :)
Good point.

When you review a BBC Production I will count on your discretion. : )
Chicago 1930 ; illustration from the paperback book jacket of The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow, published 1953
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