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Home > Video Reviews > “Blinded by the Light” Teen View

“Blinded by the Light” Teen View

 

 

Review by Ian Delia

In all honesty I’d have to say that Blinded by the Light is an average movie with connections to the teenage generation. Unfortunately the first 30 minutes is full of predictable ups and downs of friendships, desires and family angst, making it a bit uneventful. The half hour intro leads you to question why one should even continue watching. Beyond that, however I did like the music, dancing and drama that followed even though it’s foreseeable and that the message will be one that’s obvious. “Be your own self and you will eventually come out of your cocoon and fly like the butterfly you choose to be”.

This film is based on a true story of Javed (Viveik Kalra). He’s a young man who has become a pushover. Even though he tries to be himself, being brought up in his ethnic family, his father (Kulvinder Ghir) keeps him from making choices on his own. Whether its love, his poetry or trying to develop his social life outside the home, it’s not working for him. His inspiration to change, however is in the music he creates in his head and writing lyrics for a friend.

Viveik Kalra as Javed in BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Based on the songs of Bruce Springsteen, he starts to come out of his shell and stand up for himself. Not playing music, but the inspiration to write urged by the lyrical masterpieces of Springsteen. To watch someone have a life changing epiphany through the wonders of song actually gives hope to the younger generation, as had the generations before and the ones to come.

I do like the way co-writer and Director Gurinder Chadha handles the friendship in the film by showing how they can be easily destroyed from differences in ethnic background. In England the people are becoming negative toward Javed’s Pakistani heritage and in his village are attacking them. His best friend Matt (Dean-Charles Chapman), who grew up with him, has become a local rock-star with the help of Javed’s lyrics. But, due to Matt’s unfortunate intrusion in Javed’s love life, they have drifted apart. Not having this link to the British way of life, Javed feels the pressures of society. It’s a very good insight and shows how social norms can change a person.

Nell Williams as Eliza and Viveik Kalra as Javed in BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

But, Director Chadha has a plan and the rest of the movie plays out tactically when he introduces another Pakistani to the film, Roops (Aaron Phagura). A pivotal role, Roops becomes the catalyst and the connection to Bruce Springsteen that makes the film work. It’s what changes a flat opening to a worthwhile movie for not just teens, but everyone.

In addition to Roops, I do like the performance by Nell Williams as Eliza, Javed’s class friend. She asks Javed out on a date and it’s the beginning of the desire to fight for his freedom from family anxiety. Director Chadha doesn’t make it an easy transition to romance and that’s a good thing because it feels more real in the long run.

Aaron Phagura as Roops in BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

This is a very good family movie for those who like singing and dancing with an okay story behind it all. There is something that everyone can get out of it especially the relationships, drama, music and the chance to sing along to “the boss”.

Blinded by the Light has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic material and language including some ethnic slurs. Be cautious when bringing immature children to the film as the violence in the streets involving a family affair does become disturbing. Check out Bruce Springsteen when the credits roll.

I give the film 3 out of 5 stars

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