Blinded By The Light Movie Review
I know shit about music. Name me a musician and I’ve probably heard of them, play me a song and maybe I’ve heard it, but ask me to match one to the other, I’ll fail nearly every time. So it should be unsurprising that while of course I’ve heard of Bruce Springsteen, I had no idea what any of his songs were.
After watching the endearing if unremarkable Blinded by the Light, I can also now say that I’m not a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen’s music.
Blinded by the Light stars Viveik Kalra as a Pakistani-British teenager in the 1980s who loves to write and fit in with everyone else, despite a father who demands he stay true to his Pakistani culture. He feels trapped in his own home, until his discovery of The Boss and his music unleashes new passion and confidence within him.
The movie is inspired by a true story.
Amusing yet utterly predictable, Blinded by the Light is a story that has been done a few times in recent years; a foreign-born individual who is stuck between Western civilization and his or her parents’ culture, inevitably leading to a fight and then a reunification at the end.
Blinded by the Light is no different, except it’s a bit of a musical, only where the lyrics feature poor lip syncing and a complete lack of artistry or flair. Director Gurinder Chadha seems unwilling to go full musical and unfortunately ends up in some purgatory wasteland, the musical numbers by far the weakest part of the film. Of course, me discovering that I don’t particularly enjoy The Boss doesn’t help either.
On the flip side, Kalra is an endearing star, a likeable, relatable young man who injects energy into the story and is able to sustain much of the movie through sheer awkward charisma.
Emphasis on “much of the movie.”
Blinded by the Light struggles in the third act, if only because it ends with every cliché in the book. A writing competition. Displeased parents suddenly realizing the err of their ways. Underdeveloped race riots.
Like I said, total cliché.
Blinded by the Light is a perfectly fine movie, and if you’re a Bruce Springsteen fan surely you’ll like it even more. But as enjoyable as much of it is, it’s also somewhat forgettable, and certainly not blindly. I don’t need to know shit about music to tell you that.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.