Blinded By The Light (12A)

It’s 1987 during Margaret Thatcher’s Britain and hope is fading fast, none more so than from the eyes of Javid, a British-Pakistani Muslim who sees little chance of escaping the turbulent world that he’s found himself living in.

Javid (Viveik Kalra) is racially abused on the streets and consistently told what to do by his Father. He lacks any form of freedom. It’s not the life Javid wishes for himself. Salvation, however, is about to come from an unlikely source, a working class man from New Jersey known as ‘The Boss’ – Bruce Springsteen.

Now I know what you may be thinking, how on earth does a story about a teenager from Luton connect with one of the United States’ most popular rock icons? Well, actually, the metaphor and connection works well. It’s not as outlandish as you may think and the script tailors the lyrics and songs well linking to Javid’s personal conflicts and the world he sees before him.

Get ready to be dust off those vinyls in the coming weeks though as Blinded By The Light certainly doesn’t hold back in enjoying the full back catalogue of Bruce Springsteen. You’ll hear all the hits and it’ll be hard to not tap your feet along. It’s joyous, uplifting and, with driving rock melodies, powerful.

With each passing anthem from ‘The Boss,’ however, as great as they are, comes a slight feeling of repetition heading to an over-indulgence. Listening is one thing but dancing and singing only takes you further out of the story.

Missteps in the plot aside, when Blinded By The Light does get into its stride and focuses on the true drama at the heart of Javid’s story it’s truly captivating. You may even find yourself shedding a tear when the going gets tough – I certainly did. 

There’s a strong supporting cast that, when the light is also truly shone on them, it only adds to the difficulties in the world that Javid lives and the ties that bind them all.

If you’re a fan of ‘The Boss,’ then this film is undoubtedly for you. It’s a love letter to Bruce in every sense of the word. For everyone else? Yeah, it’s okay. Stepping back from the music, Blinded By The Light is a coming of age story about how one young man attempted to find salvation in the strangest of places only to find his true self.

By Jordan Barrett

★★★☆☆

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