Small Screen Reviews
Blinded By The Light Review
What’s It About?
A British youngster of Pakistani heritage living in Luton find meaning in his life, and way to combat the struggles of life, love, and family when he discovers the music and lyrics of Bruce Springsteen.
Who’s In It?
Kulvinder Ghir (Bend It Like Beckham, Any Human Heart, The Queen’s Corgi)
Viveik Kaira (Next Of Kin)
Nell Williams (Game Of Thrones, Grantchester, London Town)
Other notables include:
Dean-Charles Chapman (Before I Go To Sleep, Game Of Thrones, The Commuter)
Hayley Atwell (Captain America, Cinderella, The Long Song)
Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey, The Trip, Swimming With Men)
Director – Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham, It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, The Viceroy’s House)
Gurinder Chadha returns with this heartwarming tale of a young British lad of Pakistani heritage who is about to hit adult life in Thatcher’s Britain.
Contending with the usual social strains of life – girls, parties, socialising, family life, work pressures and parents’ expectations – in a very depressing and depressed area of Luton, then life seems pretty futile to poor Javed. Especially as he harbours ambitions of being a writer, but his well meaning but somewhat overbearing father is giving him the choice between doctor or lawyer. What to do?
Caught up in a maelstrom of misery, Javed is by chance handed a cassette tape of a musician that seemingly only dads listen to. It’s nothing like the current new romantic wave hitting the charts, but eventually Javed listens to it, and discovers meaning in the lyrics and purpose to his own life – this is after all The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, and his lyrics concerning the downtrodden streets of New Jersey – a million miles away from Luton, but in other ways, seemingly not.
The film, as you would expect, is full of nostalgia and heart, with wonderful performances from Viveik Kaira, and the cast playing his family – Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra and Nikita Mehta – covering their internal dynamics, their expectations, and their struggles living in 80s Britain and this is where the film really comes alive. Add into that a wonderful soundtrack – assuming you like Springsteen – and you have a rousing film on your hands. Admittedly it can be a bit full on at times, and occasionally feels a little forced, but overall it is hard not to be swept along.
In A Nutshell:
A heartwarming tale of triumph over adversity, but at times it feels a little forced.
The heart of the film especially involving Javed’s family
At times it all felt a bit forced, especially tearing through school to the strains of Born To Run
Release date: 09/12/2019
Certificate: 12 / 12A