Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Simu Liu as Marvel’s first Asian superhero in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Amazon Prime’s updated version of “Cinderella” with Camila Cabello and Riz Ahmed in the surreal “Mogul Mowgli.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including Simu Liu as Marvel’s first Asian superhero in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Amazon Prime’s updated version of “Cinderella” with Camila Cabello and Riz Ahmed in the surreal “Mogul Mowgli.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about to talk about Marvel’s first Asian superhero in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Amazon Prime’s updated version of “Cinderella” and Riz Ahmed in the surreal “Mogul Mowgli.”
If a movie starring Riz Ahmed about a musician sidelined by a medical condition sounds familiar, it should. Last year he was nominated for Best Actor for playing a heavy metal drummer suffering hearing loss in “Sound of Metal.” He returns to theatres this week in “Mogul Mowgli,” a rap drama that treads similar ground but with a whole new attitude.
Ahmed, who co-wrote the script with director Bassam Tariq, stars as Zaheer, a London-born rapper known as Zed to his growing number of fans. His lyrics focus on racism, Islamophobia and the issues he faced as a young British Pakistani man.
Based in New York City, he’s about to embark on a European tour. His soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend (Aiysha Hart)—she’s grown tired of their FaceTime relationship while he’s on the road—thinks he needs to get grounded, to reconnect with his family in England. “For someone who raps so much about where they’re from,” she says, “when was the last time you went home? When was the last time you actually spent time with your family?”
He returns to England, welcomed by his family, even if they disapprove of his career and choices. “I can’t give you my blessing,” says his restaurateur father Bashir (Alyy Khan), “if I don’t believe in it.”
Following a scuffle with a fan, he finds himself in the hospital, diagnosed with a degenerative autoimmune disease.
What exactly is wrong? “Your body can’t recognize itself,” his doctor says, “so it’s attacking itself.”
“If you can walk from that chair to that lift,” says his doctor pointing to the elevator ten feet away, “I’ll discharge you.” He can’t, and his treatment begins as he feels his career slip away.
“Mogul Mowgli” is anchored by a raw nerve of a performance from Ahmed. Bruised, physically and mentally, from the indignity of disease and his dreams slipping away, he vacillates between helplessness and anger, sadness and frustration. It’s powerful but most of all, human. He doesn’t play Zed simply as tragic. He’s often unlikeable, often unsympathetic. You know, human.
Often shot in searing close-up, and dotted with surreal sequences, “Mogul Mowgli” is in your face both visually and emotionally. The stark reality of Zed’s disease is tempered by dreamlike sequences that illustrate the chasm between where he came from, to as he imagined it would be to where it is today. It’s a study of cultural identity, divides in families, how illness defines relationships and masculine ambition. It occasionally bites off more than it can chew, but as uncomfortable as it can get, it is never less than compelling.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including Shia LeBeouf’s semi-autobiographical story “Honey Boy,” the eco-doc “Spaceship Earth,” the period dramedy “Emma,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “The Assistant,” the family drama “Ordinary Love,” the horror comedy “Extra ordinary,” the ugly divorce proceedings of “Hope Gap” and the neo-realist look at the gig economy “Sorry We Missed You.”
In climate change circles the term “hope gap” refers to people who worry about global warming but feel powerless to do anything about it. The new film “Hope Gap,” now on VOD, has nothing to do with the climate, but is all about change and a person who feels powerless to prevent it.
Bill Nighy and Annette Bening play mild-mannered Edward and firecracker Grace, a married couple of twenty-nine-years. Their cluttered home displays the earmarks of a life well-lived. Shelves overflow with books and knick knacks, photographs decorate the fridge. They have a seemingly comfortable relationship; they know how one another takes their tea and pad about the house working on their pet projects, his academic updating of Wikipedia history sites, her poetry projects.
When their son Jamie (Josh O’Connor) comes to their Sussex coast home to visit there is tension in the air. Grace, in an attempt to shock Edward out of what she thinks is his silent complacency, picks a brutal fight, overturning a table and slapping her husband in the face. “He should fight back,” she says to Jamie. “I want a reaction.”
The relative calm of the seaside home shattered, Edward announces that he has long felt inadequate in the marriage and that he’s leaving, immediately. Devastated, Grace wants to try and work things out as Edward begins his new life.
“Hope Gap” has moments of humour but make no mistake, this is downbeat story about two people who were living separate lives under one roof. The overall tone is one of melancholy but not melodramatic. Nighy and Bening give naturalistic performances, each feeling the pain of the other’s actions in a battle of wills. Bening is heartbroken, angry and yet hopeful for reconciliation. Nighy plays Edward like a wounded animal, skittish and afraid, a damaged man who has retreated from the relationship.
The beauty of the screenplay by Oscar-nominated writer-director William Nicholson, is that it doesn’t take sides. Complex characters are thrown into a complicated, almost unbearable situation with no real winners. It paints a vivid picture of Grace and Edward but doesn’t judge them.
“Hope Gap” is a portrait of middle-age angst. It may not make for a good date night movie but the nuance of the relationships on display is worth the price of admission.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the kid’s action movie “My Spy,” the divorce drama “Hope Gap” and the political polarization of “The Hunt.”
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the weekend’s biggest releases including “My Spy,” the odd couple flick for kids, the controversial “The Hunt,” the adult drama “Hope Gap” and the wild supernatural comedy “Extra Ordinary.”