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My Review of "Monkey Man"

An action movie that explores the vast variety of Indian culture.

By Brian AnonymousPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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Monkey Man is a crazy action movie that was released recently in 2024. Although it is a revenge movie, this is nothing like the John Wick movie you think it might be. Through the trailers for this movie that's what I thought I would be getting. If that's what you're looking for you will be satisfied closer to the end of the movie but this is very different.

This movie starts out with an explanation of what the Monkey Man is. He is a mythological Indian deity known as Hanuman. His story sort of similar to the famous Icarus but in a more mischievous and mythological way. Basically this monkey with great power is having fun on earth but discover a tasty mango in the sky. He chases after it and eats it only to discover that it was the sun. As punishment he is sent back to earth without his great powers.

This is told to our main protagonist by his mother when he was a child. Now as a grown adult he's angry, frustrated and on a mission to topple a huge organized crime syndicate. The thing is, as the audience, we don't know why. They never even let us know his real name. This first part of the movie is a little bit disorienting and confusing. Maybe upon further viewings of this movie I would piece things together but it is very off-putting at times.

There are so many jump cuts to little snippets of the past and the camera angles are fast and furious. It's hard to focus on anything in the very beginning of the movie. This was definitely done by design to further amp up the anxiety of the film and to make the audience feel the same confusion as the hero. I think it may set some people off by this movie. Though I do think it's worth it if you keep going.

To add to the confusion there are a ton of Indian cultural references that I didn't understand but appreciated. This movie really makes you appreciate the grand diversity of Indian culture. There's so much going on and there's so many layers of this culture. It's so cosmopolitan and no one really explores this. Some of us in the west may feel a huge sense of culture shock while watching this movie. It's just such a different culture that I felt like I was watching a foreign film. In a sense it is, but it also has a very western sense of film making. I think there was an okay balance of these two extremes.

When the movie starts to piece itself together in the second half that's when the fun really starts happening. We get more focused scenes and we're allowed to breathe in these shots. It fits with the pacing of the movie because our hero starts to calm down and realize what's going on. I still don't like the excessive use of camera shaking in a lot of these scenes though.

Most of the movie was beautifully shot though. The visuals are quite gorgeous at times. The colors are so vivid and really help tell the story of where the hero is at in his life. There's a sense of his emotions with the color grading of each of the shots. It's pretty well done.

I get a sense that there was a ton of homages in this movie that I didn't quite grasp either. I know there were a few that I caught with John Wick and Enter the Dragon. If you're well versed in Indian culture I think you'd probably get even more out of this movie than I did.

Overall, I liked this movie. I think there was a lot lost in translation for me in terms of the cultural significance of things. It's a very content rich movie and maybe only one viewing isn't quite enough. This didn't distract the fact that the last part of the movie wasn't freaking amazing. That alone will not save this movie for me though. Although, I can't fully appreciate this movie like others can I do acknowledge the fact that a lot of the stuff flew over my head. In my personal opinion, I think this movie is a 6.5 out of 10. That's just my instant thoughts. Who knows maybe upon a further viewing in the future I may change that opinion.

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About the Creator

Brian Anonymous

I have tons of opinions that change constantly. I watch a lot of movies and play video games. There are some articles on my struggles with languages and dance as well.

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