Riz ahmed

Riveting and heartbreaking: Sound of Metal reviewed

The multi-Oscar-nominated Sound of Metal stars Riz Ahmed as a heavy-metal drummer whose life is in freefall after losing his hearing. Ahmed learned to play drums for the part. And he learned American Sign Language. And he learned to perform with white noise in his ears. However, he did not have to learn how to be riveting because, if you’ve followed his career, you’ll know he’s been that since day one, and he is magnificently, powerfully, heartbreakingly riveting here. If he doesn’t win the Oscar I’ll be furious. That counts for nothing, I know. But it had to be said. It is directed by Darius Marder, who co-wrote the screenplay

The problem with renaming London’s streets

In Taksim Square, the busy central hub of Istanbul, a large, viril monument stands. In the centre is Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, the father of modern Turkey (although, perhaps not the contemporary one). When Attaturk came into power, he immediately set about changing the country from Empire to Nation. This meant progressive Western values, the alphabet; a dismissal, in some cases, a blanketing of the culture and customs before it. Almost by accident, this sparked a nostalgia for the Empire that is potent in today’s Turkey. In the hotel nearby, the Kurdish receptionist gets to work. ‘Did you see the monument?’ he says to me bleakly. I ask what he thinks

You won’t be able to look away: Shirley reviewed

This week, two electrifying performances in two excellent films rather than two mediocre performances in the one mediocre film — see: Rebecca — so things are looking up. Firstly, Mogul Mowgli, starring Riz Ahmed, directed by Bassam Tariq and co-written by the pair. Ahmed plays Zed, a British-Pakistani rapper who has lived in New York for two years and is on the brink of stardom when he returns home to his family in London. It’s intended as a brief visit but then he is struck down by an autoimmune disease that is never named but is something like multiple sclerosis. The point is, I think, even his body doesn’t recognise