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Monkey Man: Dev Patel’s Brilliant Directorial Debut

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

I’m going to preface this article by saying that Dev Patel has been a genius within the film industry long before this film came out. With a highly impressive resume (looking past M. Night Shyamalan’s horrid The Last Airbender adaptation), he’s been establishing a name for himself since his acting debut in 2007’s Skins. Just earlier this month, he debuted his first turnaround at directing, and let me just say – wow. 


First things first: the writing for this movie, in my most humble opinion, is immaculate. I’ve seen in reviews that some people had issues following the overarching storyline, but I was completely absorbed in the film from minute one and felt like I was actually a hidden witness to certain events. The transitions were seamless, and the brief flashbacks of the main character’s (Kid’s) childhood kept me right on the edge of my seat. From beginning to end, there was a beautiful payoff for the main character and some notable side characters, and I just loved it. 


The cinematography and action in Monkey Man operated hand-in-hand throughout the picture. The fight scenes were shot practically to perfection, with just the right amount of shakiness and movement without giving me whiplash in the theater. I found it reminiscent of the John Wick films, which I could write a whole other article about, but with a slightly improved shooting and choreography style. Again, I felt like I was right in the action, ready to dodge all the punches being thrown myself. The pacing was incredible, and I was consistently impressed all throughout the film. 


For context, I am a huge music nerd. I’m one of those people who cannot get a single task done without something playing in the background. Since I saw this film a few weeks ago, that something has been the Monkey Man score. Jed Kurzel has absolutely outdone himself, composing a soundtrack that can make me truly envision the events of the film, even after a one-time viewing days ago. Every note added to the scene! If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about – the scene with Roxanne in the club had my friend and I acting like little kids in our seats. Magnificent. 

Overall, I thought Monkey Man was stellar, with Dev Patel’s talent shining in front of and behind the camera. Intelligently written, acted, and directed, it absolutely blew me away, and I cannot wait to see what Patel has lined up next. 

Eva Schoen

Tampa '26

Eva Schoen is a new writer and editor of Her Campus magazine as of 2024. She enjoys writing about the entertainment industry, including film, music, and literature. Eva was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and currently resides in Tampa, Florida for school. She is currently a second-year film major and psychology minor at the University of Tampa. On top of Her Campus, she is an intern for the Gasparilla International Film Festival, and balances an on-campus job as well. A lifelong pursuant of art, Eva enjoys anything pertaining to filmmaking, writing, music, and reading. She spends most of her free time outdoors, enjoying the Tampa scenery, and loves playing tennis and spending as much time in/on the water as possible. She loves to try new things, and is always on the lookout for her latest adventure!