When your day to day life revolves around doing something that you have a devout passion for there could be nothing worse than that particular lifestyle being put at risk by something so cruel as an illness of some sort. In Bassam Tariq's Mogul Mowgli, Riz Ahmed plays Zed, a British-Pakistani rapper just about to start his first world tour before being struck down by an autoimmune disease that threatens to derail his big break. Tariq delivers a rather intimate tale of a talented man's life that comes crashing down around him all while trying to reconnect with his family back in London. Finding a path in life that has led to a career in music is one that Zed's family don't fully approve of so the two colliding when his illness takes holds leads to a real sense of claustrophobia as Zed struggles to come to terms with the impact it will have on his life. This is realised in some trippy dream sequences littered throughout that haunt Zed and emphasise the panic he's facing internally with some choppy editing and some very decent rapping. Listen out for Pussy Fried Chicken, a dead cert for the Oscar for Best Original Song for sure. Riz Ahmed leads the film with an exceptional performance that spans from confident musician about to get his big break to a shell of his former self, vulnerable and frail as the illness sets in and leaves him questioning what future he is set for. This is very much a film for Ahmed to showcase his talents and he truly excels on every level. It's kicked off LFF for me in a great and surprisingly emotional fashion so make sure you seek this one out upon release.
A British Pakistani rapper is on the cusp of his first world tour, but is struck down by an illness that threatens to derail his big break.
January 12, 2021