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Blinded by the Light (2019)


8/10: Springsteen is the inspired backbone of this heartwarming, if cliche, tale of growing pains, economic woes, and racial strife in small-town-80's England
Thursday, July 11, 2019

Bruce Springsteen, for a generation, was a songwriter who didn't just write about the average man, but for him. Many song writers coming out of the 60's and 70's wrote socially conscious music and tried to say something about the world around them, but Bruce had another view of America and tried to channel that spirit into music. Is it any wonder then that some might be so inspired, it changed their outlook on life? Such was the case for Sarfraz Manzoor, who's story is the basis for this movie. Springsteen is the backbone to a story that we've heard before, but this delightful tale is so proud, charming, and full of heart, it's hard not to watch it with a smile.It is 1987 and Javed is a Pakistani teenager living in a small English city where he spends his days writing, whether it's essays, poetry, or lyrics for his friend's...

10/10: The smile on your face will linger for days
Monday, May 13, 2019

I was fortunate to see "Blinded by Light" at the Montclair Film Festival last night. The director was present and said (and sang) and few words prior to the film and then did a Q&A after the film.Using a rating system of 1-10, I give it a "100!!!"I cried and laughed at Bruce on Broadway but I think I actually cried more and laughed more watching this film.I don't want to spoil the film for anyone but will point out a few things that really helped the film.-Characters not only play Bruce songs on Cassette and Turntable but they also on occasion quote lyrics as part of the film's dialogue.-19 Bruce songs are used in the film-Some of them are live versions-We see on the lead character's TV Bruce singing the River for the 1st time (which was at the MUSE concert in 1979 at MSG)-Bruce's...

10/10: Best film of the year
Friday, August 16, 2019

I loved this film. It is intelligent, warm and deeply moving, a story about cross-cultural differences, growing up with one foot in one culture and one foot in the other, adolescence, identity, isolation, alienation and journey to adulthood taking place in 1980s Thatcher England, job loss, racial hostility and synth music. It's about a Pakistani family, a Sikh friend who loves the Boss (who is the Boss of us all), Sony Walkmans, tape cassettes, working for a living and having skinheads spit on you. It's about loving words, having a passion for writing, paying attention to words and the words of a fellow poet, Bruce. It's about parents, their sacrifices and struggles and the letting go. Loss. And, it's about meaning. Living a life with meaning, values and love. The film is well-written, acted, directed and edited. There is humor. There is not a false note anywhere. The only complaint I can make, and...

3/10: Narrative is too formulaic
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The acting is fresh and charming, and direction is pacy and generally engaging. But once this tale gets stuck in the tramlines of its "Bend it Like Beckham/Billy Elliot" youngster aiming to shake off parental oppression, you know EXACTLY where it's going to take you. Apart from the nasty National Front scenes towards the end, this is a film with very little tension and next to zero surprises, plot twists and turns. And if a story lacks that in a film, then it really has a problem. It descends into a series of box ticking narrative requirements. I've read the book and it was funny and humane. But this film has not really delivered on the original text. It could have been so much better with a riskier and more daring script that wasn't afraid to get off those predictable "tramlines

8/10: Much better than expected
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

This was one of those movies that I'd watch the trailer and say to myself "that looks good, I'll see that" and the probably wouldn't because it wasn't mainstream enough for me to go to the cinema. But thankfully Cineworlds Secret Screening was on (even though I and possibly all the people that walked out during this movie were hoping to see The Lion King early). It's throughly enjoyable, the music is great, Bruce Springsteen and Eighties Classics. It's a coming of age story to remind everyone that being true to yourself and becoming who you want to be doesn't mean leaving who you are and where you came from behind

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