Review: Mogul Mowgli (BFF 2021)


Riz Ahmed continues to prove that he is a top-tier actor with his gripping performance in Bassam Tariq’s Mogul Mowgli, an enthralling look at a man coming to terms with the cards dealt to him.

Just as British Pakistani rapper Zed (Ahmed) is about to embark on his first international tour, an autoimmune disease begins to wreak havoc on his body, threatening everything he has worked for. Tariq’s film here is a bit of a strange one, switching between images of Zed’s struggles and hallucinations that are trippy and sometimes confusing. What they depict, however, are the thoughts of a man confronting his past, his standing, and what could have been his career. While parts of the film will absolutely feel reminiscent of Ahmed’s Sound of Metal from last year, his performance here is no less impactful. The actor has a unique talent for taking on challenging roles that explore various hardships and boil them all down to emotional, relatable levels. There are moments in this performance that are truly heart-wrenching and chill inducing.

Mogul Mowgli is most impressive for the infusion of culture in the story that influences the family dynamics and health choices throughout. The film is a cerebral one, certainly not for everybody; it won’t feed you all of the answers, but certainly will send you on your way looking for them. Tariq breaks down every aspect of the story and forces the viewer to ponder it all in a raw presentation that goes beyond what you see on the screen. This is filmmaking at its finest. 

Mogul Mowgli hits select theaters September 3rd, 2021.

Rating: 4/5

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