Blinded by the Light (2019)
Javed is a Pakistani teenager who experiences racial and economic turmoil while living in Luton, England, in 1987. He writes poetry as a way to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the stubborn views of his traditional father. When a classmate introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteeen, Javed sees parallels between the singer’s powerful lyrics and his own working-class environment. Springsteen’s melodies soon inspire Javed to find his own voice and follow his dreams.
I do enjoy Gurinder Chadha movies; Bhaji on the Beach, Bend it Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice and Viceroy’s House etc, just to name a few. So, as you can imagine my expectations for Blinded by the Light were quite high.
This is a good movie but, not quite as good as the previous Gurinder Chadha movies. I understand that the main character found a connection through Bruce Springsteen’s music but, if you stripped that out, the storyline could have still have focused on the struggles of growing up with cultural differences, during the 80s.
The performances are decent in this movie. Viveik Kalra is great as Javed, no doubt his career will be on the up following on from his role in this movie and Beecham House (which is also directed by Gurinder Chadha). Kulvinder Ghir is good although, I couldn’t help but want him to shout ‘chakdeh’ like his character in Goodness Gracious Me.
Overall, this movie didn’t quite make the mark that I was hoping for. It is difficult not to compare this to East is East as there are some similarities. I loved that it was set in the 80s therefore, some of the situations were relatable and there are a few comical moments but, the movie dragged a little and lacked the strong direction and scripting that we saw in Bend it Like Beckham. It is still worth a watch so go and check it out!