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LHS Teachers Retiring
LHS Teachers Retiring
Michelle BekhtelMay 24, 2024

STOCKTON- The 2024 school year is coming to an end, and with this short time left we must take time to recognize teachers that have chosen to...

Monkey Man

Movie Review

From in front of the camera to behind it, Dev Patel busts into the cinematic world with ‘Monkey Man,’ an outstanding debut that is packed visually and emotionally.       

 In ‘Monkey Man,’ Patel plays an unnamed man, Kid, who steps out of prison to find Mumbai transformed into a city powered by corporations and corruption.  Determined to reclaim his city and life- as well as seeking justice, he sets out to deconstruct the towers that are being built, which are also ultimately responsible for his imprisonment and the burning down of his neighborhood.  With his journey to seek justice and tear down influential people, he finds himself uncovering a secret that goes hand in hand with his personal enemies and the societal issues he believes are vital to fight against. 

With each step of his plan, Kid is forced to go through encounters that will leave him scarred-both mentally and physically, becoming ‘friends’ with certain people and unraveling the haunting events of his past.  As Kid moves closer to his desired end goal, he must decide how much he will sacrifice for his greed of redemption and justice.  The film combines high-stakes action with the expiration of critical social issues-like the Indian caste system, identity, and the impact of unchecked power.  

With the well-thought-out societal political commentary merged into the movie, the most important question is—how did this movie come to be? Patel founded the idea of this movie when he started to realize the repetitive typecasting he was receiving for offers in movies—to either play the smart IT guy who can hack the mainframe or the funny sidekick with a heavy accent. The screenplay and writing took him over 10 years to bring to the screen, and it wasn’t even supposed to hit theaters. 

The Slumdog Millionaire actor had agreed to a movie deal exclusively with Netflix. Still, with  other hit movies, the movie was ultimately shelved for an almost sure release that would never happen.  However, through the grapevines of Hollywood, fellow director/actor Jordan Peele could discover what would happen with Dev’s movie.  Peele stated in an interview that he initially had no idea Patel had directed the movie-simply only acted. Based on that alone, he wanted to see what he could do, yet when Peele found out Dev was directing, producing, writing, and starring in it, he knew he had to get this on screen.  And that’s precisely what happened!  Peele’s production company, Monkey Paw Productions (what are the chances…), works hand in hand with Universal, encouraging the company to invest in the movie and help bring it to theaters worldwide. On April 5th, 2024, it did just that.   Grossing over 23 million dollars at the domestic box office and 8 million at the international box office- I think it’s very safe to say putting the movie on the big screen was the correct and only option. 

Overall- I absolutely loved and thoroughly enjoyed this film.  The different layers that go into this movie are incredible, and this being Patel’s directorial debut, it makes it even more impressive with the attention to detail and care put into it. I had read that Patel had broken his finger, shoulder, and toe all in the span of filming, yet that was nothing but a minor bump in the road.  Faced with financial issues, causing some parts of the movie to be filmed on an iPhone and the camera crew turned into extras in the film- ‘Monkey Man’ shines brightly at the new era and legacy Dev Patel can leave with his incredible directing skills. 

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About the Contributor
Chahat Kapoor
Chahat Kapoor, Editor
Chahat Kapoor is currently a junior at Lincoln High School. This is Chahat's second year in journalism, her first editing. She is vice president for Women of Color, and in her free time, she likes to read.

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