Mogul Mowgli

Mogul Mowgli

Mogul Mowgli

  • Directed by Bassam Tariq
  • Starring Riz Ahmed, Anjana Vasan, Aiysha Hart, Nabhaan Rizwan, Alyy Khan, Kiran Sonia Sawar
  • UK / USA | 90mins | 2020 | rated (TBC)

Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins

Film run time: 1h 30m

Having just screened at this year’s BFI London Film Festival, Riz Ahmed gives an electric performance in Bassam Tariq’s visceral directorial debut.

Together Ahmed and Tariq co-wrote the script, the story a British-Pakistani rapper called Zed (Ahmed) a rising star on the cusp of success. This is Ahmed’s most personal film yet.

Although his cutting lyrics speak provocatively about identity politics, it is not until Zed returns home after two years on tour that he is called by his real name: Zaheer. When an illness threatens to derail his big break, Zed is forced to confront his past and his family.

Memories and hallucinations merge to the beat of Qawwali music and are haunted by fervent apparitions of a masked figure – conjuring the unspoken spectre of Partition, which looms large in his father’s unspoken words. Further bruising Zed’s ego is his nemesis – RPG (Nabhaan Rizwan, 1917), a young rapper whose face tattoos and crass lyrics bewilder him.

Both a paean to the importance of cultural heritage and a sharply observed reflection on muscle memory, the richness of Tariq’s achievement lies in the details of this heady mosaic.

A bold and vital evocation of the British-Asian experience.