Dev Patel’s directorial debut ‘Monkey Man’ gets standing ovation at South by Southwest film festival


 Our Bureau

Austin, TX

The much-anticipated India-set movie, ‘Monkey Man’ received a standing ovation at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival, where its world premiere was held at the film gala. The gala is held annually in Austin, Texas.

The movie was introduced to the audience by filmmaker and producer Jordan Peele. Inspired by the legend of Lord Hanuman, “Monkey Man” is set in Mumbai and features Patel as Kid, a man on a quest for vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systemically victimise the poor and powerless.

“He (the character) really captivated me. He has been sort of an emblem for my father and many in my family… If you go to any gym in India, there’s like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman and Hanuman. What baffled me growing up was this iconography of this super strong being who could hold mountains in one hand and split his chest open. It reminded me of the iconography of Superman. I was like this is amazing, I wish the world knew about it,” Patel said, who was seen fighting back tears.

The film’s cast and crew joined him on the stage. The film stars popular Indian actors Sobhita Dhulipala, Vipin Sharma, Ashwini Kalsekar, Adithi Kalkunte, Sikandar Kher, Pitobash and Makarand Deshpande, along with Sharlto Copley. 

The ‘Slumdog Millionnaire’ actor Patel developed the movie from a story idea he had. He wrote the screenplay along with Paul Angunawela and John Collee. 

“I really wanted to touch on the caste system in India, the idea where the poor are at the bottom, slaving away in these kitchens, then you go to the land of the kings and above them, you have God, a man-made god that is polluting and corrupting religion, and then you have heaven,” Patel said.

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