SIFF 2019: "Blinded By The Light" Review + Q&A Session w/ Viviek Kalra
Music can have a profound effect on people. Blinded By The Light outlines the true story of how Bruce Springsteen inspired a teenage Pakistani writer to challenge his fears, chase his dreams, and define who he is beyond the rules and expectations that hold him back.
Adversity hits shy and reserved Javed, played by Viviek Kalra, from all angles. Racism permeates his community. His conservative father requires he abide by strict traditional rules. And to top it off, the 1987 UK economy has made finding work difficult, adding pressure to the household.
A lot of how Blinded by the Light unfolds reminds me of 2016’s under-the-radar musical sensation Sing Street, where powerful music motivates a young man with big ambitions to act against the status quo to achieve his goals. But the cross-cultural component of Blinded By The Light adds a special dynamic to the narrative that’s worthy of discussion even today.
Additionally, the film manages relationships between the main characters excellently. There’s an organic chemistry among the cast that makes their ups and downs feel authentic, further bolstering the film’s already infectious feel-good nature.
Admittedly, I’m not familiar with Bruce Springsteen’s music, so my connection to featured tunes and lyrics may not be as strong as those who are fans. But as I watched Javed grow in his admiration for and connection to Springsteen’s music, I found myself thinking about the artists, songs, and lyrics that have inspired me, and that’s the magic Blinded By The Light thrives on.
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 2 | Entertainment Value - 2 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 1 | Reviewer's Preference - 1 | What does this mean?