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Monkey Man (SXSW Review)


Photos of the premiere are shown below. Link To Tik Tok of standing ovation as well.


Directorial debuts are one of the best things to witness, because it shows a new perspective from someone who has something new to share. Especially if it's coming from an actor, who really wants to be behind the camera. Dev Patel is a household name and so is Jordan Peele. This duo came together to make a movie called Monkey Man. This being Dev Patel's first film in the director's chair. He is also the writer, producer and stars in this incredible movie. Monkey Man has a lot of things going for it and he was able to create something special. Most likely, something personal to him in a lot of ways. What may seem like a typical revenge story, this movie adds so much flavor to a story. We have seen this type of story before, but he does it in a way that people will be blown away from his creativity. I people decide to go check this movie out, they are gonna have their jaws drop. Monkey Man, directed by Dev Patel, is one of the best action movies of our time. His directorial debut started with a bang and he absolutely executes it masterfully. Visceral and action packed, with a new style unseen before! People are gonna absolutely love this! Talented as hell, he accomplishes a soon to be classic for all action fans. Rich with culture, amazing cinematography, entertaining fight choreography, great acting and has a hell of a story. This will be in people's top lists for the end of this year and possibly the decade.

Very much an underdog story, Dev goes into a world of revenge, to punish the people who are responsible for killing his mother. We get introduced to this story with a little history lesson on a deity called Hanuman. A god that is beloved in Hinduism that was innovative, clever, strong and carries so many other attributes. Dev's character shares many parallels with this god. He soon becomes a symbol for the poor and powerless who live below the rich and powerful. He is the person who protects the ones that are often ignored and unseen. Not only is he on his own personal mission, but he is there to help everyone as well. He truly becomes this god like figure who is trying to se things right. Seeing him in action is incredible. I love that this movie starts off with him being really good at fighting and planning, but he still gets beat up and gets defeated multiple times. It's not until later that he becomes god-like in his skills, as he continues to learn and grow. Dev is without a doubt an action star in this movie. I was lucky enough to be at SXSW when this movie premiered and he even shared that this movie had a lot of road bumps while making it. That he even filmed some of the scenes in his own bathtub with his iPhone. These are the things I love hearing about, because it really showcases what went into making this movie possible. When watching Monkey Man, you can easily tell that this movie was carefully crafted. There are so many small details in it and you can also tell that the story was very important to him. This movie was going straight to Netflix, but it found its home with Monkey Paw Productions. This highlights that the movie is Jordan Peele approved. For some, that alone is worth watching this flick. Make no mistake though, this is without a doubt Dev Patel's movie and he deserves all the praise. In fact, he did get a standing ovation at the showing at SXSW.

Monkey Man is easily going to be one of the best looking films of the year as well, because of its visual style and cinematography. It has amazing costume design, set design, eye popping colors in the lighting and great editing techniques, that really bring the culture to life in this movie. It transports you right into India and quickly makes you buy into the world they crafted around it. Without hesitation, you really want to see him succeed in his mission and stop these terrible villains. People compare this movie to a Bollywood John Wick. Although it has its similarities, it is a incorrect statement. John Wick, the character is well written, but is seen as someone who already had the set of skills needed to get the job done. This movie plays more on the underdog element and it builds its backbone from there. Also leans more lore heavy elements and relates to the story to Hanuman. This movie has so many layers and plays out some great themes. We get some great flashbacks that build around that story and it is the main driving force for our protagonist. The flashbacks helped build the emotional connection with this character. Being fed little by little what happened to him, really allowed me to understand his motives and what he wants to accomplish. The movie doesn't hold back in its brutality and that may turn some people away, but was necessary to tell this story. You want these bad guys to go down the harshest way possible. Each scene delivering hard punching action, that truly hits hard every time. Dev's character uses his entire environment to his advantage. Grabs whatever is available to him in the room to overcome his enemies. This sets the tension really high. That he is always getting away from these near death moments, constantly. As his skills progress, he is able to plan and execute these fights more efficiently. With quick editing and crazy kills, the movie is filled with moments of movie magic and I couldn't be smiling any harder, as I watched it all unfold. Kills in this movie will make you cringe, jump for joy and want to turn away. It has it all in this movie.

This is an action movie that will be talked about for a very long time. Although it is a story that we have seen before, Dev is able to turn it upside down and on its side. With this well crafted story, people will be able to relate to it in one way or another. His vision came to life with so much to share with the world. He talked about how he used to watch a lot of Bruce Lee movies and other movies with martial arts and that's where he got his inspiration. You can tell that he tips the hat to those movies in Monkey Man. You can tell that he wanted to make the action feel ferocious and use new elements, while having some old school methods. There is a scene where they even use fireworks as a form of attack and was crazy to see it. Plus an elevator scene that had the whole crowd cheering during its showing in SXSW. There will be so many different scenes that will feel iconic for some viewers. As the standing ovation happened, Dev felt overwhelmed with emotion. He deserved it. He will be someone that people will really have to start following. Not only for his amazing acting abilities, but also him in the director's chair. I do hope he continues bringing new movies to us. He has a great style and would love to see more from him. Monkey Man can very be the best action movie of the year, so make sure you do not miss out. Out in theaters April 5th!


Photos of SXSW: Taken by Frederick Nuti


Standing Ovation Tik Tok Link: https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTLMGb3tn/


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