In his debut film as writer, producer, star, and director, Dev Patel pushed boundaries by risking injury to deliver a fresh and innovative action-packed experience. His dynamic direction and gripping fight sequences redefine the genre, showcasing Patel's dedication to creating something truly original.

For the most part of his career, Dev Patel has been cast in roles that could be described, in lack of a better term, as the "nice guy" or a similar archetype. In "Monkey Man," the actor boldly displays both excitement and brutality, reclaiming his creative identity and making a strong directorial debut with ferocious energy.

Dev Patel gives his all in "Monkey Man," overflowing with passion. Despite some rough edges, his undeniable enthusiasm injects new life into a genre that often feels stale.

Monkey Man Trailer: Dev Patel Action Movie Gets Trailer, Release

Dev Patel takes on the role of Kid in "Monkey Man," an underground fighter who wears a rubber gorilla mask and gets paid to endure vicious beatings. Unlike the typical invincible action hero, Patel's portrayal adds layers of vulnerability and humanity to the character, offering a nuanced take on the traditional archetype.

Kid is deeply affected by the loss of his mother, Neela (portrayed by Adithi Kalkunte), and the violence that shattered their lives. Neela's tales of Hanuman, symbolizing strength and resilience, guide Kid as he navigates a world overshadowed by tragedy. The film portrays Kid's evolution from victim to determined avenger, fueled by a desire to dismantle the corrupt regime headed by the ruthless police chief, Rana (played by Sikandar Kher), who is responsible for Neela's death and Kid's own disfigurement. Kid's journey begins with infiltrating the inner circle of the corrupt elite, leading him to encounter Queenie Kapoor (portrayed by Ashwini Kalsekar), an associate of Rana's whom he strategically utilizes to get closer to his targets.

Check out the trailer:

"Monkey Man" runs for two hours, with most of the film characterized by a quiet and suspenseful atmosphere. It builds slowly towards Kid's pivotal moment of action, akin to the gradual evolution of a determined street fighter. Patel aims for authenticity but falls short, delivering a portrayal of Mumbai's darker side without adding depth, relying instead on stylish cinematography.

Patel's depiction of Kid's journey extends beyond personal revenge, serving as an allegory for the larger battle against corruption in Indian society. This political depth echoes narratives seen in Bruce Lee's films. Additionally, the movie draws inspiration from action classics like "John Wick," "The Raid," and "Old Boy."

Dev Patel Says Monkey Man Filming Was a Catastrophe, Funding Pulled

In his directorial debut, Patel showcases his talent for crafting action-packed narratives with depth. "Monkey Man" delivers a powerful message about the need for radical action in the face of injustice. Patel's blend of folklore and socio-political critique offers audiences a fresh perspective on Indian cinema. Despite Bollywood's dominance, the growing Indian action film scene deserves more recognition. Patel's skillful direction suggests a promising future in filmmaking, both within and beyond the action genre.

"Monkey Man" is set to premiere at the SXSW festival and will hit cinemas on April 5th.