My Review of "Blinded by the Light"
A true story about how Bruce Springsteen changed the life of an immigrant thousands of miles away from America.
Blinded by the Light looks like a corny feel good movie and it's not too far from it. You know what you're going to get with this movie but that's not a totally bad thing either though. It's surprisingly based off a true story where the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen's songs are actually pretty important throughout the movie. I'm not totally familiar with Bruce's music but this movie actually made me interested in listening to some of his stuff.
The movie starts off with two young friends. The main character Javek and his friend Matt. They kind of grow apart as they grow up but they still remain good friends. Javek has idolized Matt for the longest time. I guess he thinks the grass is greener on the other side but we soon realize more of why Javek envies Matt.
They all live in a small town in the UK called Luton in the 1980s. The viewers soon realize times were very different in the 80s with the rampant racism, political turmoil and employment situations. Javek happens to be British-Pakistani and he's going through a lot of racism and turmoil back at home. Things don't get any better when his father loses his job at the car factory.
All Javek wants to do is write. He's a prolific poet but lacks the confidence in his own abilities due to his upbringing and the societal racism. Luckily for Javek he runs into a very supportive teacher and meets like minded students. One of the students that really changes his life is a boy named Roops. He introduces Javek to the music of Bruce Springsteen.
The thing is, Bruce Springsteen's music is kind of outdated by 1987. All of the students a the school are into new wave and other pop music of the time. Bruce Springsteen's lyrics really spoke to Javek. It was as if all of the words were directed to Javek's situation at the time. He felt angry and powerless at the same time. So many forces were stopping him from realizing his dream and he had to say enough is enough.
This is really when the movie starts up and colors start to pop all over the screen. At times it kind of feels like a musical because the songs will be played out so that we can understand what Javek is listening to. It gives people a better understanding of why Javek truly appreciated the lyrics. He takes the lyrics to heart and his life is really changed upside down because of this.
As much as I enjoyed how the movie played out I did have some complaints about the movie. I didn't find that they played off the friendship of Matt and Javek too well. They built this relationship up about them being childhood friends but they didn't really do anything with it. I guess they did but there really wasn't too much development with it throughout the movie. It was an anti-climatic subplot.
I was also really disappointed at the way they transitioned Javek's father. His transition wasn't gradual it was more of an abrupt change just to get the movie going. It didn't feel quite right and really threw me off the movie. I think they could have done this way more subtly to make viewers understand that it was tough for him to change.
Still there is a very good message by the end. I thought it was a nice little change of pace because usually we see the same type of movies over and over again. We often get the same messages about following our dreams and think of ourselves but this movie kind of changes this. They realize that family and friends are actually the most important priorities in our lives. Movies usually tend to forget about this with these follow your dream type of movies. This movie flips the script to make it feel fresh and different.
Overall, despite the pacing issues with the movie I was able to enjoy it. There is still a pretty good payoff at the end even though it was pretty predictable. It's a very interesting true story that I think people should check out. I was hesitant to watch this at first and I was glad I got to check it out. I have to give this movie a 7.5 out of 10. It kept my attention and I feel like there could be a cult following for this movie later on.