After the double whammy of musical biopics that were “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Rocketman” and after “Yesterday” which featured a story surrounding the music of The Beatles, you'd think this trend would be exhausted by now. Fortunately that's not the case with “Blinded By the Light.”
This is a movie inspired by a true story of a young man so inspired by the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen that he wants a better life for himself and after it's over, we leave feeling the same way.
It stars Viveik Kalra as Javed Khan, the son of an immigrant family who live in Luton, England and they adhere to a very strict sense of life. Javed's father virtually dominates every aspect of their lives including whom his children will marry and what their life goals should be.
Javed discovers a revelation that changes his life when a friend gives him a cassette of Bruce Springsteen and his lyrics make him want to express himself in a creative fashion.
Javed receives encouragement from his teacher (Hayley Atwell) after reading some poetry he wrote and this further encourages Javed to write for his school paper.
He also gets involved with a classmate (Nell Williams) who is politically motivated especially during the turbulent times where Pakistanis are not treated as equals and this gives Javed further incentive to leave his home.
The musical sequences pack as much fist-pumping excitement as Springsteen himself. We get a lot of exuberant energy when songs such as "Born to Run" or "Hungry Heart" start blazing and they encapsulate Javed's emotions in such a grounded yet spectacular fashion.
This movie isn't just a celebration of Springsteen's music; it's also the celebration of a young man who was dared to look at himself and find out what kind of man he wants to be. He wants to honor his family, but he doesn't want to forsake tradition and the paths that were laid before him either. That's not an original statement to make in this kind of film, but it works very effectively throughout.
It's simultaneously inspiring, uplifting, funny, and moving and I think it should be required viewing for anyone who has creative passion for music or any other endeavor in life.
Congratulations are all around for this dynamic entertainment. It's one of the year's best films.
(Rated PG-13 for thematic material and language including some ethnic slurs.)