“Monkey Man” Premiere: Dev Patel’s Directorial Debut Garners Standing Ovation at SXSW on Mar 11

After his directorial debut, Monkey Man, at SXSW on March 11, Dev Patel received a standing ovation that left him in tears.

The actor has moved to directing with the action thriller, in which he plays a guy seeking revenge against those who murdered his mother and continues to terrorize the poor. Patel not only directed and starred in the film, but he also wrote and produced it.

“Monkey Man” Premiere Garners Standing Ovation at SXSW on Mar 11

Standing ovations are rare at SXSW but Monkey Man sparked a rare standing ovation for the actor. The whole audience was thrilled.

Patel was obviously overwhelmed by the acknowledgment and enthusiasm because he was spotted wiping tears from his eyes and turning away from the audience at one point to collect himself in front of the television.

Prior to the movie’s premiere, Patel took the stage and talked about the film’s long journey including production process, saying, “People thought I went crazy.” I’ve been absent for some time. I was reading all this stuff like “What Happened to Him?” and “Where Are They Now?” on the internet.

“I’m not really fit for public consumption right now, I’ve been in a dark room, the paint is literally not dry on this thing,” the actor went on to say.

Money Man Cast at SXSW, Image: Deadline

“I made a tiny film called Slumdog Millionaire in which I was exactly as uncomfortable as I am today. Patel addressed the crowd, saying, “That movie was discarded because, basically, people underestimated you guys.”

And it was the same situation here. I shot this movie in the largest slum in India, Covid stuck, and the film failed despite everything I put into it. Everything went wrong that might have gone wrong. Finally, Jordan arrived. He took something up off the ground, brushed off the dust, and placed it on the mantelpiece.”

Patel was referring to Jordan Peele, who joined as executive producer on the project and bought it from Netflix to assist Universal in releasing it in theaters.

Prior to the screening, Patel was introduced by Jordan Peele, saying, “This is a film that simply demands to be seen in a theater with a huge rockstar audience”. Peele switched to his theatrical output agreement at Universal after witnessing the movie,

Regarding Patel, Peele remarked, “I’ve never seen someone pour his heart, soul, body, mind, and energy into a film, into a story more than this man.”

Monkey Man Director: Dev Patel

Monkey Man: Journey from Story to Screen

Monkey Man was originally planned for Netflix, but it was sold for $30 million worldwide.

The film, which is based on the Hindu god Hanuman, was influenced by Patel’s childhood stories from his grandpa, Bruce Lee flicks, Bollywood films, and Korean dramas.

“When I was a tiny child, I went downstairs and saw Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon through the banister on the screen. That day, I fell in love with action films since I had never seen someone who even somewhat resembled me before, and this guy had my skin tone,” Patel said.

Monkey Man is about one man’s quest for revenge against the corrupt officials who murdered his mother and continue to victimize the poor and powerless. The story of Hanuman, a legend representing courage and strength, served as inspiration for the India-set film.

In the movie, Patel portrays the Kid, an unnamed young man who makes ends meet by working as a gorilla mask wearer at an underground fight club where he is brutally beaten by renowned fighters every night in exchange for cash.

Essentially, this is a story of an underdog who, with the support of an even larger group of underdogs, discovers their actual power together.”

Watch below: MONKEY MAN Trailer 2 (2024)

Patel had many injuries while filming the movie. He got a shoulder tear. Then, when filming a bathroom fight scene, his hand was broken by fellow cast member Sikander Kher.

He had screws inserted in his one hand. The doctor told him not to put any weight or anything on the hand after he inserted screws, but he carried away the shooting.

Patel shot the film in spite of all the difficulties during COVID-19. He suffered a heart attack during production, even losing his gaffer.

Two weeks prior to filming, Patel had a broken foot. He even performed a single-handed kitchen battle sequence.

It was the most difficult injury Patel had to cope with throughout filming. He understood he had to find a different solution since he was unable to film the remaining parts of the film with a cast on.

This has forced the actor to alter their choreography moves due to his hand injury. It was really challenging to convert all the choreography to one-handed movements. Even though Patel was only able to use one hand at times, the choreography was so well-designed that we didn’t notice.

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