Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Running for His Race; Springsteen's Driving Songs Help a Pakistani Teen Come of Age

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Running for His Race; Springsteen's Driving Songs Help a Pakistani Teen Come of Age

Article excerpt

Byline: WORDS: DARREN HALLESY

If the thought of another superhero movie, period drama or bad-taste comedy leaves you yearning for the days when a trip to the movies simply meant having a good time, then you're going to love Blinded By The Light.

The year is 1987, and living in Luton, a town just north of London, Pakistani-born 16-year-old Javed is asked by his mate what three things he wants to do with his life.

"Make loads of money, kiss a girl, and get out of this dump," he replies.

Let's be honest, how many of us thought the same thing at 16?

Growing up in the boring industrial city, Javed is living in Margaret Thatcher's Britain. It is a time of high unemployment, union strikes and the rise of the racist National Front which makes for uncomfortable living for a family of Pakistanis who have moved to the UK for a better life.

Javed's father is a traditionalist and has dreams for his son, with strict rules on how Javed should behave. But the teenager knows the only way out is to work hard at school.

On his first day at his new school, Javed runs into a boy in the hall and a cassette tape falls out of the boy's Walkman (for those under 30, google 'Walkman') and on it is Bruce Springsteen.

Javed's never heard of the singer but when he hears Springsteen's music, everything in his life changes. He feels like The Boss is speaking directly to him and understanding everything he thinks and feels.

He runs through the city streets to Born To Run and tries to woo a girl with the lyrics from Prove It All Night.

This is a coming of age film told through the historical eyes of 1980s Britain, and the lyrics of Springsteen that bring Blinded By The Light to life.

Javed is played charmingly by newcomer Viveik Kalra, who was cast in the film after being spotted in his only professional acting role in the British mini-series Next of Kin. …

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