Blinded by the Light

Cameron Cuevas

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Last Sunday, my family and I saw “Blinded by the Light,” directed by Gurinder Chadha. This movie is more than just a Bruce Springsteen tribute. In fact, we dive back in time to the late 80s England, following a teenager who struggles to fit in his modern society. This movie is great at inclusivity since we all deal with some of the issues included at some point or another. Whether it be not having many friends, doubting everything you do, or just wishing to do more with your life.

This movie follows Javed (Viveik Kalra) through the struggle of being a teenager. Growing up in Bury Park during the 1980s wasn’t easy, especially if you were Pakistani. Kalra plays a young poet who wasn’t to escape from the life he is currently living. He feels trapped, not allowed to go to parties or go out on dates, or just really experience anything fun. Until he meets Roops (Aaron Phagura), who introduces him to the “boss” (Bruce Springsteen). At first, Javed doesn’t believe that a singer, from a different background, could possibly understand what he’s going through. Then he presses play on his Walkman and gives Bruce a listen. Soon Javed has found his escape through Bruce’s lyrics.

The chemistry between Javed and his father Malik (Kulvinder Ghir) is incredible. You’d actually believe they were really father and son and not just two actors in a movie. Ghir plays the typical ‘tiger parent,’ and he does a phenomenal job. Everybody did an amazing performance; I don’t have any criticism for the actual acting. The people portrayed as the activists played their role particularly well. You could feel their hatred for the Pakistanis through the screen.

I liked a lot about this movie, essentially the reliability. Even though this is set over thirty years ago, I could still relate to the problems Javed was going through. From wishing to escape and adventure out into the world to trying to give it all up. We also did get an incredible soundtrack featuring some of Bruce Springsteen’s hit songs. I didn’t enjoy seeing some of the events taken place during the time period this movie is supposed to follow. However, that’s not the movie’s fault, it was just sad to see.

The lesson I learned from this movie, is that you can’t always rely on one thing to depend on. Because someday you’ll realize it’s not enough, and that you need to talk to the people around you. I hope others learn the same or realize that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. To not be afraid to live your life and pay the price later. I think that’s a very important theme that we see throughout the movie. We seek adventure, it’s okay to take a risk once in a while.

I don’t really think this movie is directed towards a certain age demographic, I feel like it’s for everybody. Die-hard Bruce Springsteen fans will love this movie and teenagers who are forced to go to the movies with their parents will probably like it as well. Honestly, I’d recommend this movie to anyone who wants to experience a true teen story with a banging soundtrack. It is rated PG-13 due to some intense topics. This movie is incredible, you feel a rush of all these emotions while the movie is going on, and afterward you’re left with the satisfaction of the story’s ending.

Abby Lisk