Blinded by the Light tells the story of a British Pakistani teen caught between two cultures and struggling under the weight of his parents’ expectations. It sounds just like a story Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha would sign on to, and we’re glad she did.
Parallels can be drawn between this comedy-drama and Chadha’s 2002 hit. Instead of chasing a football career, the film’s protagonist, Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra), dreams of being a writer – which his father, of course, disapproves of. And instead of being obsessed with David Beckham, it is Bruce Springsteen that fuels Javed’s passion.
Javed lives with his immigrant parents and two sisters in the London suburb of Luton. It’s 1987 and life is looking pretty grim for the 16-year-old. While his family struggles to make ends meet, Javed must also contend with the racism of his classmates and neighbours.
His world is turned upside down, however, when his new friend Roops (Aaron Phagura) introduces him to “The Boss”. Springsteen’s music sparks an awakening in Javed that gives him the courage to pursue his passion. If you weren’t a Springsteen fan before, you will be by the end of the film.
Blinded by the Light tells an uplifting tale of family, friendship, and the power of music. You’ll walk out of the cinema with your faith in humanity restored.