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SMR 497: Monkey Man

Rod and Karen review the Impossible White Man Movie, “Monkey Man.” They also discuss some movie trailers and your feedback.



    Monkey. Man. DAMME.

    Had a blast with Monkey Man & Dev Patel’s machinations as director & actor in this lofty, exhausting endeavor. Dude poured his heart & soul into this. He still has a few things to clean up as a first-time director with some of the frentic camera shots with fights & chase scenes, but it’s all done so well, you can get past it. Thought the story & character beats were particularly nuanced for this genre. Loved the trans women inclusion, especially Alpha’s involvement. Everything about this is just levels & I can’t wait to see it again for a third time.

  2. Prath.t

    Hi Karen and Rod,

    Thanks for your review of Monkey man. This was a wild, blood-soaked tale that follows the standard narrative tropes of a vengeance play, but with a style and execution that must be applauded. This IS INDIA, worts and all. The way they “showed not told” was so well done. Knowing Hinduism and the stories narrated and depicted in the artwork throughout the movie definitely add another level of appreciation, but Dev did well to make it all accessible. The fight style was more reminiscent of “The Raid” than John Wick, but they blend into each other.
    I agree with your critiques, such as the mask not being used throughout the last fight scene. I also would have liked Rana to have been set on fire after he was put down at the end, just to bring it back full circle to his mother being set on fire. He could have used the booze in the bar and matches with the crown label, but maybe that’s a little on-the-nose.
    There were a few things I wanted to add context to.
    The Trans people depicted are known as Hijra, a once religiously revered part of the community as they are the living embodiment of both the male and female aspects of all people, the Shiva and Shakthi (as seen in the statue) and there cannot be one without the other. They too have been outcast due to not fitting into modern society. Their appearance in the final fight scene was amazing, but they weren’t wearing battle armor. They were wearing a traditional folk dancing outfit, like you would see in a Bollywood dance number. Karen correctly picked the bells which is typical of what dancers would wear. I thought it made that scene even more amazing.
    Finally, this is very inside baseball, but the tabla player playing during the training montage was Zakir Hussein, one of the greatest percussion players alive. I lost my shit when I saw him. It would be like if Jimi Hendrix played whist Dev was training. Much like a marvel movie where the comic reader gets the inside reference when an obscure character is mentioned, this felt like I was rewarded for knowing.
    Dev has done justice to the people of India by representing so many facets in just 2 hours. I really hope he gets the rewards and accolades he deserves. Thanks for your reviews and all you do.


    P.s Your review with J.L Cauvin of Road House was brilliant. I only had 1 questions: Given Jake drove a boat onto the deck of the bar and Connor drove a car through the front, shouldn’t some of the bad guy money have gone to the bar owner for the damage caused and not just the bookstore owner? Anyway thanks again!!

  3. RoninRaphael

    Man, I loooooooooved this movie! For some reason my Black Puerto Rican homie wasn’t happy with it cause he felt that the choreography copied John Wick & Jet Li movies. Meanwhile, I was loving this movie cause if you are aware of what has been happening in India in the past 15 years (even longer). You’ll know that the villain (fake Shaman) with the candidate that he endorsed were had the colors of the Hindu Nationalists (yeah not white people be fascists) and Dev Patel gave me a taste of that. I appreciated his creative choices in an election year where over 800 million people are expected to vote. So while this movie won’t sway the expected outcome. I believe that those who are like Alpha and the women in that temple will see this and not lose hope. It’s a tsunami going up against the real life Shaman in their election. So for me it’s a 5/5, people be asking for artists to speak out. Man did with his art in a brilliant way .

    I didn’t think about the throwing away of the mask until you both brought it up. Dang, I wish man wore it to the end!

    Excellent episode as always!

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