Blinded by the light – Javed (Viveik Kalra) is the only son of Malik (Kulvinder Ghir), a Pakistani who had proudly moved with his family to a middle-class neighbourhood. Malik hopes his boy would be able to become a professional, for that he had encouraged Javed, who has just entered college, to study economics. The young Javed however, has other plans. He gets encouraged by his teacher Ms. Clay (Hayley Atwell), to develop his writing abilities.
But things will not go smoothly for Javed: it is the Britain of the 1980s, with Margaret Thatcher at the helm implementing policies that would cost thousands of jobs, among them that of Malik’s. Racism is also a problem, and the neo-fascist National Front stages many rallies where Pakistanis are singled out as targets.
It is in the middle of all of this turmoil in his life that thanks to Roops (Aaron Phagura), a fellow student who would later become a close friend, that Javed discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen, and especially the lyrics of his songs. Javed would make of Springsteen’s lyrics a sort of counselling voice. The inspiring music would be of crucial importance in making Javed take control of his own life, and even adventure into a romantic relationship with Eliza (Nell Williams), a British girl. The film, directed by Gurinder Chadha, integrates in a very successful way the music and lyrics with the dramatic development of the story.
“Blinded by the Light” falls into some sentimentality toward the end, however, it is a movie worth seeing for the values it presents, the role played by the music and songs of The Boss in changing the life of a young Pakistani living in Britain, and the freshness with which the story is presented.
Running time: 117 min.
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