‘Blinded by the Light’ – Review
Director: GURINDER CHADHA
Starring: Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Gantra, Aaron Phagura, Dean-Charles Chapman, Nitkita Mehta, Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, Aaron Phagura,Rob Brydon, Nell Williams, and Sally Phillips.
‘Blinded By The Light’ by Director Gurinder Chada (Bend it Like Beckham), is a heartwarming film inspired by music icon Bruce Springsteen. It follows the spirited journey of ‘Javed’ (Viveik Kalra) a British adolescent with Pakistani origin; whose character is based on journalist Sarfraz Manzoor.
Javed is learning to live on his own terms and experiences the normal rites of passage of many teenagers, like his first kiss, sneaking away for a disco.
His friend Roop (Aaron Phagura) introduces him to Bruce Springsteen. Discovering the lyrics and music of Bruce Springsteen gives Javed a reference point and a feeling of being understood. He begins to understand his place within the world society and most of all his family whilst finding his own voice. Confronted with austere times of the Thatcher-era we are taken back to a time of economic uncertainty and racial conflict that feels all too familiar. Blinded By The Light is inspired by the biography of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor “Greetings From Bury Park”.
The movie polarising the American Dream with the dreams of a young Pakistani boy in 1980’s Luton in Britain as he reflects on the power and message of Bruce Springsteens music. Yet, it manages to bring together its own sensibilities with universal themes that thread through all continents, such as conflicts within family, society and countries all these are addressed in Springsteens music. Javed not just escapes into the music but draws strength from it until he finally believes in himself enough to pursue his dream with the encouragement of his teacher and his first girlfriend.
The movie creates an intercultural and intergenerational exchange with warmth and depth. It pushes universal human experiences and desires to forefront that unify us all; our desire for love, acceptance, dignity, respect, peace, and a dreams of a better future.
Over-the-top in charmingly palatable way, movie-goers will find it is hard to keep a dry eye. It has a winning recipe of a cult film. Who knows, we may even enjoy a bit of a Bruce Springsteen revival. It makes for a feel-good film for children, families and Springsteen fans to enjoy,
‘Blinded By The Light’ is out in cinemas today.