Watch Blinded by the Light
- 1 hr 57 min
Blinded by the Light is a 2019 coming-of-age drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha. The film is based on the memoir Greetings from Bury Park by Sarfraz Manzoor, who co-wrote the screenplay with Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. Set in Luton in 1987, the film tells the story of Javed (Viveik Kalra), a British-Pakistani teenager who finds inspiration in the music of Bruce Springsteen. Javed is a high-school student struggling to find his place in the world. He dreams of being a writer but faces pressure from his traditional Pakistani father to pursue a more practical career like accounting. His family is also facing financial difficulties, and tensions are high at home. Javed feels like he is trapped in a life that is not his own, and he turns to music as a way to escape. One day, a classmate introduces Javed to the music of Bruce Springsteen, and his world is transformed. He identifies with the lyrics and finds a voice for his own frustrations and dreams. Javed becomes a dedicated fan, and Springsteen's music becomes the soundtrack of his rebellion. He even starts writing his own lyrics, inspired by Springsteen's themes of hope, love, and freedom. As Javed's passion for Springsteen grows, he also begins to assert himself in his own life. He stands up to his father, tries to pursue a romance with a classmate, and starts to write for his school newspaper. His newfound confidence and creativity do not go unnoticed, and he becomes something of a sensation at school. However, outside of the school walls, the world is not so welcoming. The film is set in the late 1980s, a time of racial tension and economic recession in the UK. Luton is a town divided, and Javed's Pakistani heritage is not always an asset. He faces discrimination from his white classmates and even his own father. However, Springsteen's music becomes a kind of bridge between the different communities, and Javed learns that he is not alone in his struggles. Blinded by the Light is a film about identity, connection, and the power of music to transcend boundaries. It is beautifully shot and features an outstanding cast, including Billy Barratt as Javed's younger self and Ronak Singh Chadha Berges as Javed's sister. Viveik Kalra gives a standout performance as Javed, capturing both his vulnerability and his determination. He is a sympathetic and relatable protagonist, and his journey is both moving and inspiring. One of the film's strengths is its ability to balance serious themes with moments of humor and joy. The scenes in which Javed and his friends dance through the streets of Luton to Springsteen's music are infectious and uplifting. The film also features some stunning musical sequences, including a dreamlike sequence set to "Dancing in the Dark" and a rousing performance of "Born to Run" at a school talent show. Overall, Blinded by the Light is a film that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt lost or disconnected. It is a story about finding inspiration in the unlikeliest of places and learning to follow your dreams, even when they seem impossible. It is a celebration of the transformative power of music and a tribute to the enduring appeal of Bruce Springsteen's music.