Monkey bites can be fatal for humans. Do not indulge them. Do not feed them.

This sign greets Anjani (Shardul Bhardwaj) at his new job as a professional monkey repeller. Having newly relocated from the provinces to Delhi in search of a better life for him and his heavily pregnant sister (Nutan Sinha), his prospects are poor. The labour – which involves mimicking rival monkeys’ calls to scare the mischievous rhesus monkeys from temples, tourist sites, and government buildings – is demeaning, demanding, and continually undermined by those who worship the monkeys and embolden them with food. Eeb Allay Ooo! takes its title from Anjani’s primate imitation, and this seeming gibberish well represents this absurd, heartfelt tale.

Bhardwaj captures Anjani’s frustration and consternation at his new work – the monkeys are not easy neighbours, and it is hard to maintain a sense of self working in a world designed to humiliate those who have nothing. It is sharply contrasted against the economic elites, who build leisure time into their working day and squeeze the migrants into increasingly meaningless roles. The film’s broader approach provides a biting look at a profoundly exploitative social system – and the irony of Anjani being another name for the Hindu monkey god Hanuman is not lost. Additionally, is notable that Anjani’s new job results from the ban on owning langur monkeys, which naturally repel rhesus monkeys; the social and environmental landscape is changing, and man and monkey alike slip through the cracks.

In the opening credits, Eeb Allay Ooo! thanks the monkeys of Lutyen’s Delhi – the ones who cause so much mayhem. The film is painfully aware of this crisis of humanity and finds room for all with its genuine fondness and sensitivity. With its cutting satire of surviving an unjust system, this monkey business resonates far beyond Delhi.



CAST: Shardul Bhardwaj, Shashi Bhushan, Mahender Nath, Naina Sareen, Nutan Sinha

DIRECTOR: Prateek Vats

WRITER: Shubham

SYNOPSIS: A Delhi migrant takes a job as a professional monkey repeller, which proves a uphill battle against the cheeky creatures and cultural values.