Dev Patel on how his revenge film 'Monkey Man' is also about India's trans community

Dev Patel talked about included the trans community in India in his new film Monkey Man
Dev Patel talked about included the trans community in India in his new film Monkey Man
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Dev Patel's new film Monkey Man may be a thriller about a fight club and the desire for retribution, but it's also about the trans community in India.

In a recent red carpet interview with Variety, Patel — who co-wrote, directed, and starred in the film —opened up about how Monkey Man is an "anthem for the underdog, voiceless and marginalized."

In the film, Patel plays a young man named Kid who earns money in an underground fight club and is hell-bent on infiltrating the city's powerful elite so he can seek revenge for the death of his mother. "As his childhood trauma boils over, his mysteriously scarred hands unleash an explosive campaign of retribution to settle the score with the men who took everything from him," the official synopsis reads.

The film also features a group of trans and gender-nonconforming characters who help Kid fight the rich and powerful elites he seeks revenge against. The inclusion of these characters was important to Patel, who said that Monkey Man provides representation for India's "hijra" community — a Hindustani word that refers to someone who identifies as a third gender.

"For me, this is an anthem for the underdogs, the voiceless and the marginalized,” Patel said. “Together they wage this war for the good and the just, and for me, I just really wanted to include the Hijra community, the third gender in India."

He continued, "This is, at its core, revenge. And we should be fighting for each other, not against each other. That's what it should do at its best."

The 33-year-old actor, who first made a name for himself on the soapy teen drama Skins, explained that he wanted to embed this culture into the fabric of the film's lore. "For me, it has become rigid over time. When you look at the old carvings in these temples in India, the freedom, the sexuality, all of it, the philosophy was so ahead of its time," he said. "So I wanted to dive into it and make that the lore of the film."

Monkey Man will be available in theaters on April 5, 2024.

See the full trailer below.