Monkey Man

Kid is a young fighter who fights in the ring of a clandestine betting circuit managed by the South African Tiger. He has rural origins and wears a monkey mask, inspired by the deity Hanuman, an example of virtues such as loyalty, strength and wisdom. His real goal, however, is not to make his way as a fighter, but to avenge the death of his mother, killed in a raid against the community where he grew up. Behind this crime there is a real estate speculation that sees the city’s powerful allies with a holy man and Kid intends to infiltrate their world, first as a dishwasher and then as a waiter, until he gets close enough to them to carry out his revenge. However, he will first have to taste defeat and rediscover the purity of the spirit.

Relentless action movie, set in an India of obscene social disparities, Monkey Man is an energetic and ambitious directorial debut for actor-writer Dev Patel.

Let’s not hide the fact that it is also a sort of “vanity project” where Patel is always at center stage, even though he is not a long-career martial artist. In fact, the action scenes must occasionally resort to frenetic editing and close-ups that allow the imperfections of the action to be hidden without spoiling the rhythm. A technique that will not entirely satisfy lovers of the purest Asian action and which at times degrades into an excess of handheld camerawork and editing so frenetic as to be confusing – in short, very far from the aestheticisations of John Wick to give a Western example. On the other hand, the film is also a production miracle that overcame numerous inconveniences, still emerging with its head held high.

It was first supposed to be filmed in India, but the pandemic arrived and therefore filming was confined to a small island in Indonesia, where many things had to be rebuilt with limited resources. There was no shortage of work accidents, both on Patel’s body and on the cameras, making the convulsive style almost a necessity.

But the real problem came at the end of production: the film was in fact ready already in 2021 and was supposed to be distributed by Netflix, which however considered the contents (as they like to call them) too inconvenient for the Indian public, on which the platform he invested a lot. The film thus remained in a sort of limbo until Jordan Peele saw it, who thanks to his agreement with Universal was able to find it a new important distributor. In the meantime, some adjustments were made, above all the remake of the soundtrack, originally by Volker Bertelmann replaced by Jed Kurzel. As we write, however, this series of misadventures is not over yet: the release in India has been postponed and it seems that the local censorship board has serious doubts about the film, its violence and its representation of sex and religion.

Unlike many Indian productions today, Monkey Man is not in fact a nationalist film and if on the one hand the Hindu religion is represented as the bearer of an educational and inclusive value (a trans community plays an important role, as we will see), at the same In this way religion also appears to be conniving with the brutality of a totally corrupt power, presented in a way that could not be more gruesome.

movie banner

Server 1


Server 2


Server 3