Asian action movies, Hindu deity influenced actor Dev Patel’s directorial debut Monkey Man

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Apr 03, 2024, 02:30 PM


Apr 03, 2024, 02:30 PM

AUSTIN, TEXAS – When it came to his directorial debut, Dev Patel was inspired by a figure from his childhood – Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god.

Opening in Singapore cinemas on April 4, Monkey Man – an English-language action thriller set in Mumbai – stars the Indian-British actor as a man seeking revenge against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother.

But in his violent campaign for vengeance, he finds himself becoming an unlikely saviour to the poor and the weak.

Speaking at the recent South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas, the star of the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008) says he first heard the myth of Hanuman – the monkey-like Hindu deity known for his strength, courage and loyalty – in bedtime stories told by his grandfather.

“We used to sit in bed and my granddad would tell me the story of Hanuman from the mythology of the (Hindu epic poem) Ramayana.

“And he really captivated me. He’s kind of an emblem for my father and the men in my family,” says Patel, who shot to fame playing a boy from Mumbai’s slums in Slumdog Millionaire.

The 33-year-old – who also co-wrote the screenplay – wanted to convey the cultural significance Hanuman has in India.

For instance, gyms in the country will put up images of the deity next to those of former international champion bodybuilders.

“If you go to a gym in India, there’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, ...

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