• Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Entertainment

‘Monkey Man’: Critics hail Dev Patel’s directorial debut

Dev Patel, known for his captivating performances in such films as Slumdog Millionaire and Lion, takes on a new role both in front of and behind the camera in his latest project Monkey Man.

Dev Patel in a still from Monkey Man

By: Mohnish Singh

Dev Patel, known for his captivating performances in such films as Slumdog Millionaire and Lion, takes on a new role both in front of and behind the camera in his latest project Monkey Man. The film, which also features Sobhita Dhulipala and Sikander Kher in pivotal roles, explores themes of redemption and resilience. It released worldwide on April 5 and has garnered attention from international audiences and critics alike. Let’s take a look at how various renowned publications have reviewed this much-anticipated film.

The Guardian‘s film critic calls Dev Patel’s directorial debut Monkey Man an impressive and ambitious if a little unwieldy, revenge thriller. The review highlights the film’s nuanced portrayal of the protagonist’s journey. “If you have the stomach for singularly focused revenge and some truly graphic, visceral hand-to-hand combat, Monkey Man delivers the goods. Patel has a nimble grip on the rhythm of the slum’s power lines and the destabilizing experience of the fighter,” the review reads.

Digital Spy writes in its review that Monkey Man crowns Dev Patel as a major action movie star, calling the film brutal, political, and deeply entertaining. Praising Patel’s directorial debut, the publication writes, “It’s a movie that breathes enthusiasm and passion, touched by an electric sense of self and ambitious vision. It’s a hungry attempt by the British actor to create the kind of film nobody else was willing to, and it paid out in the best way possible.”

Variety’s review of Monkey Man calls Dev Patel’s directorial vision an audacious, at times awkward mashup of action film and Slumdog fable. The publication praised Patel’s performance in the lead role and the film’s action. “The action scenes are razory and intense, though much of this slow-burn tale of revenge plays like a glum origin story,” reads the review.

IndieWire’s review of Monkey Man celebrated Dev Patel’s directorial debut, saying that as a director, he goes just as hard stylistically as he does on screen. The publication says that it’s a free-for-all of headrush filmmaking, and Patel packs the frame with people and movement in crowd scenes that evoke the teeming excitement of urban India. Its lack of grounding wide shots makes the film feel unmoored at times, which inhibits emotional engagement. But the badass factor here is strong.

The Hollywood Reporter says in its review that Dev Patel directs and stars in a revenge thriller that both fascinates and frustrates. The publication writes, “Patel weaves in elements of contemporary Indian politics, but an overall lack of specificity left this critic with more questions than answers; there’s a nagging tension here between the potential nuances of the story’s political context and the desire to stage a basic encounter between good and evil. Monkey Man’s attempt to connect mythology, politics, and the personal results in a movie that only does each element, at best, half-justice. The over-reliance on cliché in an already spare screenplay doesn’t help either.”

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