Topic 2 Posts

Monkey Man

Monkeying around

Monkey Man is fun: great action, ok writing, shallow politics. Does next to nothing with supporting characters Alphonso and Sita. Why water down the Modi satire so much if it’s going to get banned in India anyway.

Tries to reclaim Hanuman from the Bajrangis, back to fighting for the oppressed. But it’s mainly about one guy’s trauma: Oldboy with a young boy.

Dev Patel returns to the setting of Slumdog and Danny Boyle’s propulsiveness, with a scene of slum kids relaying a stolen purse.

Patel’s final kill run is Matrix-like, god mode, powerful and effortless. Hanuman was once cursed to forget his powers, Patel finally remembers them.

Like a monkey, Patel’s character is a biter. One kill leaves a brothel owner disfigured like Surpanakha. Another is a knife away from a puma kill.

The needle drops are clunky and too on-the-nose: “Roxanne” for an escort, Jefferson Airplane for a drug scene.

Funny that British Patel’s fighting a villain with lion and crown logos, called “Sovereign” Party, with a lieutenant named Rana Singh (king lion).

Fictional Yatana’s police jeeps look like Bombay’s, while the name sounds like Haryana.

Sikander Kher is a magnificent bastard cop, looks like a brute. 6’2” like Dev Patel, but much beefier.

Makarand Deshpande plays the stock evil godman, shades of Sacred Games. Wonder how it feels for a veteran Bombay actor to work for a British kid with the shallowest gloss on Hindu myths and Indian politics :)

‘Monkey Man’

Monkey Man: Dev Patel doing John Wick in Bombay…

… crossed with the Delhi Kaala Bandar / black monkey hysteria, with a glancing nod to Mexican lucha libre

Contrasts Hanuman as “the white monkey” with Kaala Bandar

Hanuman burning Lanka

The “Rang De” mujra song × Kathakali-ish demon masks

Malignant godman is an eternal Indian trope, alludes to Sacred Games (Vipin Sharma?)

Crooked cop, probably: a Bombay classic (Sikandar Kher)

Love interest (Sobhita Dhulipala)

Corrupt party has BJP colors; they may evade censors because saffron is a Hindu trope

Class war like The White Tiger with a shot of the Mumbai metro over slums

Sharlto Copley worked with Dev in robot movie Chappie, probably why he was cast. But Dev’s the audience bridge, not the white guy. He’s accessible, Common for desis.

“Mundeya To Bachke” is basic, way overdone at this point. Plenty of bhangra and Bolly bangers to choose from.

Jordan ‘Peele… was so taken with Patel’s vision that he believed it deserved a theatrical release…
Patel plays Kid, an anonymous young man who ekes out a meager living in an underground fight club… wearing a gorilla mask, he is beaten bloody by more popular fighters for cash…
sets out on a quest for vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systemically victimize the poor [THR]