Monkey Man To Not Release In India: Here’s Why

Once again, the Indian theatrical release of Dev Patel’s ‘Monkey Man’ is delayed. The buzz around the film continues to peak and drop as it runs into several censorship issues surrounding the themes of sex, gore and violence. Supposedly inspired by Ramayana folklore, the movie places Dev in a gritty, action-packed narrative set against the backdrop of a city that seems like Bombay in all but name. Dev portrays ‘Kid’, a character who channels his suppressed anger and traumatic past into the world of underworld fight clubs, reminiscent of action thrillers like John Wick with a distinct Bollywood revenge twist.⁠

Will Monkey Man be released in India?

Slated to release this coming week, the film has further been delayed without a revised date, due to a supposed box office clash with Akshay Kumar’s Bade Miyan Chote Miyan 2 and Ajay Devgn’s Maidaan. While these speculations are doing the rounds of the rumour mills, the Times of India reported that ‘The CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) don’t know what to do with the violence. Even if the film finds its way out of the daunting orgy of violence…there is the other major problem: the frequent reference to Hindu religion and mythology…” ⁠

While these forms of censorship have continued to rise in the past few years, the delays, and the possible deleting of large chunks of the violence and overt references to religious iconography seem inevitable, that is if we ever want to see the film. This infringes upon the filmmaker’s right to freedom of expression, and the ability for the audience to engage with diverse media, perspectives and themes to build opinions for themselves.

Monkey Man follows a young man seeking retribution against corrupt leaders who murdered his mother. In addition to Dev Patel, the film features Sharlto Copley, Sikandar Kher, Sobhita Dhulipala, Vipin Sharma, and others. Originally slated for a Netflix premiere, Jordan Peele, known for Get Out (2017) and Us (2019), was impressed by the film and acquired it, believing it merits a theatrical release.

‘Monkey Man’ also stars Sobhita Dhulipala, Sikandar Kher, Sharlto Copley, Pitobash, Vipin Sharma, Ashwini Kalsekar, Adithi Kalkunte, and Makarand Deshpande, among others.


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