Bringing music to life on the big screen is harder than it might look. For every triumphant entry in the genre like Bohemian Rhapsody or Straight Outta Compton there’s a Crossroads or Glitter to ruin it for everybody.
Blinded By The Light sits somewhere in the middle. It has had huge reviews and there’s no doubt it is an inspirational tale about a young Pakistani lad in England in the 80s finding strength through the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen.
It’s the ultimate underdog story as Javed, aka Jay, who lives with his recently unemployed old-fashioned father, hard-working mother and his two sisters, struggles to find his place at school, and in the wider world, where Thatcher’s Britain offers few opportunities, and the National Front bring violent racism to the streets of his hometown. Javed is desperate to be a writer, with little encouragement beyond his writing teacher Miss Clay.
When a classmate shares two cassettes of The Boss to rock his Walkman, Javed begins to understand he is not alone, and slowly finds the power to change his life for the better.
From Gurinder Chadha, the writer/director of Bend it Like Beckham, Blinded By The light is based on a memoir by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor.
3 Stars – “A Feel-good Jukebox Musical”