Combining his talents as a first-class rapper, A-list actor, and professional writer, Riz Ahmed’s new film Mogul Mowgli, which has its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival this week, captures him at his most powerful, and most vulnerable.
An energetic, yet emotional watch, it’s the tale of British-Pakistani rapper Zed who just as he hits the peak of his career is diagnosed with a rare debilitating condition. As he steps back from the music industry to undergo treatment, he’s confronted with the ghosts of his own, and his family’s past.
Riz posted on his social media that: “Mogul Mowgli is the most personal work I’ve ever made.” He co-wrote the film with Pakistani American Director Bassim Tariq, and the raps that feature in it. In fact, Zed raps his way through much of the story, whether he’s stuck in his own thoughts, reliving moments of his past, and in the flashback scenes of him being on stage.
An uneasy yet compelling watch, the audience is a fly on the wall, witnessing Zed’s transition from being a young, successful performer, to having the life sucked out of him, as his illness sees his dreams come tumbling down.