Blinded By The Light, directed by Gurinder Chadha, is described as a, ‘feel hood film’ and, that is exactly how it should be described. From the very beginning, this film exudes a positive energy and pace which does not give in to the mundane ordinariness of it’s setting but rather, transcends it.
The film is set in Luton, North London in the 1980s, and tells the story of Pakistani teenager, Javed, growing up in a traditional family and yearning to break free of restrictions imposed on him by his conservative father. So far the story sounds like the format of many musicals but here is where the unique wonders of this film begin. Javed is a poet and it is through writing that he wants to make people listen. Based on a true story of journalist Sartraz Manzoor who also co-wrote the script, the film is all about finding a voice. The voice, Javed finds, however, is that of Bruce Springsteen. For in Springsteen’s lyrics there is, in the words of Javed’s friend Malik (Kulvinder Ghir), “a direct line to all that’s true in this shitty world.” Viewers are taken on a journey of discovery as Javed finds his own voice through the power of Springsteen’s words and music, which he spreads throughout his hometown.
The music and lyrics are infectious and if, like me, you’ve never really taken note of the brilliance of Springsteen’s lyrics, now is your chance to become a “Bruceter.”
Co-starring Nell Williams as Javed’s progressive girlfriend, and Dean Charles Chapman of, Billy Elliot fame, Blinded By The Light is also perfectly cast.
A feel a good film on every level.
Reviewed by Renee Lou Dallow