Dev Patel’s ‘Monkey Man’ Rocks SXSW! Emotional Premiere Leaves Audience in Tears!

Dev Patel received a thunderous round of applause as he graced the stage following the global premiere of “Monkey Man” at the Paramount Theatre late Monday night. Overwhelmed by the standing ovation from the crowd, Patel turned his back to the audience, wiping away his tears.

The actor, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2016 film “Lion,” had taken a break from his acting career to fully immerse himself in his latest project. He co-wrote, directed, produced, and starred in “Monkey Man,” an unexpectedly contemplative and psychedelic action story that holds a special place in Patel’s heart.

When asked about his feelings at that moment, Patel replied, “It’s just too much.”

Patel invited cast members, producers, and his cinematographer, Sharone Meir, to join him on stage. As the applause from the audience continued, Patel asked, “What happens next?”

During the making of the film, Patel revealed that he suffered numerous injuries, including a broken hand and foot, a torn shoulder, and an eye infection from unclean water on a restroom floor where a fight scene was filmed. Patel also mentioned other production difficulties, such as a broken crane that forced them to improvise by strapping the camera to a swinging rope. Some scenes were even recorded using Patel’s own phone.

“Monkey Man” is set in a fictional Indian city, which can be likened to Gotham City. The story incorporates mythical elements, with Patel portraying a young man known as Kid who dons a monkey mask—reminiscent of the Hanuman legend—and endures beatings night after night in an underground fight club. He takes a job as a dishwasher in an elite private club to get closer to the city’s influential elites and avenge his mother’s ruthless murder.

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The film, which was originally set up at Netflix, is set to be released by Universal Pictures next month. Jordan Peele played a significant part in the rescue of the project, introducing Patel before the screening began.

Peele commented, “This movie demonstrates that films can be multifaceted. They can tell a great story, have depth and meaning, and still pack a punch.”

Peele, the director of “Nope,” added about Patel, “I’ve never seen anyone pour so much heart, soul, body, mind, and energy into a movie—as he did for our enjoyment tonight.”

Patel told the audience that once the production started, “Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. And then Jordan stepped in. He picked up our project, dusted it off, placed it back on the shelf, and gave us this opportunity.”

As a young boy, Patel was enthralled by Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon,” which he watched on television: “I’d never seen anyone who looked even slightly like me before,” he recalled. “But this guy on the screen, he had the same skin color as me. And from that day forward, I fell in love with action movies.”

Patel also expressed his admiration for Indonesian and Korean action films, Jim Carrey and Indian actor Johnny Lever’s comedies, the “John Wick” series, and classic Bollywood films that his grandparents treasured.

“I’m paying homage to so many influences here,” said Patel.

Prior to the screening of “Monkey Man,” Patel commented, “What you’ll see here is a guy who doesn’t have a witty comeback for every situation—he isn’t the most muscular guy in the room and he doesn’t look like he’s going to win because he’s an underdog. And that’s how I’ve felt my entire life.”

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Keeping in line with the playful spirit of SXSW, Patel expressed his hope that everyone would enjoy his film. “And if you don’t, blame Jordan—it’s his fault,” he joked.

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