Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Soundtrack Rocks Teen Movie

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Soundtrack Rocks Teen Movie

Article excerpt

Byline: Wenlei Ma

QUEEN fans got Bohemian Rhapsody, Elton John fans got Rocketman and Beatles fans got Yesterday. Now it's Bruce Springsteen fans' turn.

The musical tribute movie is becoming a sub-genre in itself, beyond the musical biopic. Maybe we have Mamma Mia to thank, or to blame, depending on your perspective.

Thankfully, Blinded by the Light is not as much of a stomach-churning cheese in the vein of Mamma Mia and it's more coherent than Yesterday.

While it's far from perfect, on balance, it's an inoffensive, feel-good and inspirational British dramedy with some charming performances and an emotionally affecting story about an immigrant teenager and how Springsteen's music essentially saves him.

Blinded by the Light is based on and co-written by journalist and real-life Boss superfan Sarfraz Manzoor, and directed by Gurinda Chadha, best known for Bend it Like Beckham.

Set in 1980s Luton, 16-year-old Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra) has aspirations of being a writer and kissing some girls.

But his strict Pakistani parents Malik (Kulvinder Ghir) and Noor (Meera Ganatra) have a different set of expectations for him.

He is to succeed in school, choose a sensible career and be set up in an arranged marriage.

Javed is struggling to write songs for his friend Matt's (Dean-Charles Chapman) band, but Javed's preferred lyrical topics about social unrest, Thatcher and the Cold War doesn't go down well with Matt who boldly declares "synths are the future!".

It's all pretty bleak for Javed, especially when his poetry is rejected by the school's literature magazine, his dad is laid off at the local factory and the local skinheads scrawl "Pakis Out" on a wall near his home.

Blinded by the Light captures the tensions between cultures and generations. Then, through the only other South Asian kid in school, Roops (Aaron Phagura), Javed is introduced to the music of Springsteen. In Springsteen's songs, Javed finds a voice who sees what he sees, feels what he feels and generally just "gets" his teen angst. …

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