‘Mogul Mogwli’: Riz Ahmed shines in the chronicle of the identity of the “cursed” second generation of migrants


More than just a way of life or expression, music for Zed is a way of anesthetizing himself from his surroundings, from the Pakistani restaurant his father founded in England for a living, for example.

This is how director Bassam Tariq portrayed in the film ‘Mogul Mogwli’ Zaheer in the past, as the character played by Riz Ahmed was actually mentioned in a feature film that could almost be said to take the baton from the drummer who incarnated in ‘Sound of Metal’. , and which served as an Oscar nominee for Best Actor .

Tariq and Ahmed’s alter egos
Although two of Ahmed’s latest works have something in common: their directorial film debut and being a story that immediately touched his heart, in a way he couldn’t explain, echoed the words Ahmed shared on the social network Twitter during the promotion. ‘Mogul Mogwli’ in 2020, this latest feature film is specifically the actor’s “most personal work”, where he extrapolates his own claims through the characters he uses to channel issues related to his origins and identity conflicts.

Like Riz Ahmed (Rizwan, actually), Zed is a rapper of Pakistani descent who grew up in England after his parents emigrated to the country. However, his life, career, and partner were in New York, so when it came time to kick off his music career with an opening tour through England, a small gap opened up in the scale of his perfect balance, with the relationships he could no longer face on FaceTime and the “obligations he had to deal with.” ‘ to return home to visit his family, whom he had not seen in two years.

It was then that he began to question his identity again and his own muscles faltered from “scam” to one straddling two worlds: a “westernized” Pakistani, the insults foreigners spit at him when he returned home, whom he proclaims his identity to be. a Muslim in his songs.

Released at the Mallorca Atlantida Film Festival, which catalogs can be watched on the streaming platform of filmin, ‘Mogul Mowgli’ should Ahmed another step in his work as an activist to make the Muslim community look beyond stereotypes, this summer’s facet has led him to present a study which analyzes the “absence or evil presence” of Muslims according to their representations in the most popular films.

The political commitment of the interpreter of ‘The Night Of’ is not only transferred in the film with Zed’s interpretation, but born of the co-writing and executive production of the story, a part of which Ahmed also appears in the credits.

And that’s not all, some of the lyrics the Englishman tidied up in the film are from Ahmed’s handwriting – a sort of “duplicate” of his own singing career in which he has referred to “severing ties from the country they emigrated to” – and they spoke to initially from an urge to rise up as a Muslim before the world and then as an intimate confession of not knowing exactly who you are and what land you can call home.

‘Mogul Mowgli’, the need to escape from the lair to advance
From a film co-written by Tariq and Ahmed, his tone stands out for working the depth of the story with a balance where a touch of irreverence saves the plot from something that was made clear it wasn’t wanted: a violent racial drama. .

When Zed’s life comes a moment of truth, to become more acquainted with the tour that will also take the country in which he grew up, the rapper gets sick and seizes the prepotente of his speech which is purely the facade of one figure who represents the “crime of separation” and that is the antagonist of the plot from the perspective of delusions and dreams. .

Non-existent dialogue that the rapper and his “executors” cross in a veiled way through images – most of them flashbacks or Ahmed’s personal files showing, for example, his father’s restaurant as a kind of ghetto, no achievement of the ideal model pursued in his environment or quirks the people he considered the same who came from the second or successive generations – revealed a mirror in which Zed’s trauma, his complex, but also revolution and true power with to nurture in the land of the nobodies.

Minutes from the film’s first image, Riz Ahmed raps surrounded by darkness a clairvoyant letter anticipating the character’s internal conflict: the battle between the “false identity” he had created to achieve his dream as a singer and his strange relationship with his family circle. “We were not born to be loved, I was made to prove myself,” the actor spit out in the film.

Although it is true that subp Zed’s romantic lot with his girlfriend is one of our least interesting, although it contributes a grain of causative sand to reveal Zed’s deprivation, and there is a resource that attracts stereotypes and which can be too obvious, almost everything that surrounds the protagonist in his particular journey has beauty. a strange and still perhaps familiar feeling: the need to get away from the nest in order to progress and succeed.