By: Dylan Frazier
In an era of reboots and sequels, it is nice to see an original concept work in a film. While it may
be based on a book, Blinded by the Light, does an excellent job tackling racism, family dynamics,
and finding out what you really want to do with your life. It may be a bit corny at times, but it
works and makes for a wonderful two hours.
Based on a true story, Blinded by the Light, follows a Pakistani family living in England in a time
where neo-fascism and disdain for non-white, British people is very prominent. The main
character in the movie, Javed (Viveik Kalra), is a teenage, Pakistani boy who wants to write for a
living, but in a world where jobs are hard to come by for immigrants, his father wants him to
have a more practical job. Javed struggles with the world he lives in and wonders often as to
why his life is so hard. That is until he listens to Bruce Springsteen for the first time. Springsteen
really resonates with Javed and it helps him become who he was meant to be.
What really worked for me was the dynamic between Javed and his father, Malik (Kulvinder
Ghir). Most of the movie dealt with racial or religious discrimination toward them, but Javed
and Malik differed on how it should be dealt with. Javed wanted to see change, but his father
thought that it had to be this way to live in England. They often got into arguments about many
different things and shouting matches happened. It felt very real and emotional, which made
the pay-off at the end great.
I really enjoyed the fact this movie tackled so many different issues that are relevant in our
society today. The parallels that this movie has with our world today were kind of amazing.
Everything the movie tackled (racism, religious discrimination, and social class issues) are still
very prevalent today and I think it should get people talking. It never felt ham-fisted either, it
felt very natural and was very integral to the story.
My only issue was that at times, the music felt a little forced. It never stopped the movie in its
tracks, but it felt like it was pushed a little too hard at times. If they cut out some of the music
and focused more on the social issues the movie tackled, it could have a great movie that much
Although I am not the biggest Springsteen fan and I wasn’t aware of the issues that plagued
Britain in the late 80s, I very much enjoyed this movie. I had very little expectations for this
movie and it ended up being one of my favorites of the year so far. With a lot of emotional,
though-provoking commentary, and plenty of music, Blinded by the Light is a great change of
pace from many other movies we see in theaters today.