Blinded by the Light

Directed by British Indian filmmaker Gurinder Chadha best known for 2003’s Bend It Like Beckham, Blinded by the Light is a feel-good comedy drama that revolves around a story of a young British Pakistani living in an economically depressed town in England with his conservative Muslim family and is inspired by a real-life individual with similar circumstances. The protagonist feels very isolated from the rest of the English community that often bullies him for his ethnicity and has no creative or social outlet for his insecurities and desire to break away from his strict family life. After a chance encounter with a fellow British Pakistani at his school, Javed Khan, played by Viveik Kalra, the music of Bruce Springsteen whose lyrics closely resemble what he is feeling in his own life and feels inspired to spread the music of Bruce Springsteen whose popularity peaked several years prior. Set in the 1980s as a economic downturn greatly affects Great Britain, the film encapsulates the feeling of anxiety across the United Kingdom, especially with immigrants and the rise of the Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The movie is full of funny moments in which Javed’s sheer enthusiasm for Springsteen takes over parts of his life. The filmmaker also makes the creative and effective decision to superimpose the real lyrics of Bruce Springsteen as Javed is listening to the music on his Walkman. But, the movie is primarily a wonderfully uplifting story of a young man who is finally confident in his love for writing poetry and is able to find a British girlfriend, all because of an American musician who makes a connection with his own unique life living in an immigrant family. Overall, I found it to be a touching movie that shows the power of music and art to truly inspire people to do their best in life and is able to relay this message of hope while still being entertaining and creative.

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