Bentonville Film Festival 2021 Highlights | Festivals & Awards


While it’s tightly edited and impressive on a technical level, “The Novice” is really a performance piece, giving Furhman the best part of her young career, and revealing what this actress is capable of delivering. There are a few scenes that feel overwritten in how they highlight and underline what’s going through Alex’s head, but Furhman overcomes all of that to deliver a grounded, deep performance. She truly understands people like Alex, competitors who refuse to give any ground even when they don’t know why they need to win so badly.

“Mogul Mowgli”

One of the special events of Bentonville this year was the screening of fest favorite “Mogul Mowgli,” which premiered at Berlin way back in February 2020 before working its way through a number of festivals and arriving in theaters next month. Finally able to catch up with this drama, I can see what the buzz has been about, although I suspect it will be unfairly compared to the multiple Oscar nominee “Sound of Metal,” given it features Riz Ahmed again playing a musician struck down by an unexpected physical condition.

In this one, Ahmed, who co-wrote the film directed by Bassam Tariq, plays Zed, a rapper whose fame is rising when everything is derailed by a debilitating physical condition that forces him into medical treatment. Unable to find nearly enough strength in his muscles to do simple things like walk, Zed’s arc is that of a man slowly working through the stages of denial, unwilling at first to even cancel his tour. As the people around him disappear, leaving his distant father as his unexpected ally, Zed’s priorities shift. Ahmed gives another riveting performance, never playing the clichés that could have turned this project into melodrama. He’s one hell of an actor, and he’s only getting started.

You can view the original article HERE.

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