Blinded by the Light | Chicago Reader
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Blinded by the Light

How much does Bruce Springsteen have in common with a 16-year-old Pakistani boy growing up in a small English village in 1987? According to Blinded by the Light, a lot more than one would think. Based on the life of screenwriter Sarfraz Manzoor, this is the coming-of-age story of Javed (Viveik Kalra), a young writer who finds a sense of purpose after discovering the music of “the Boss.” Chadha tries to cover a lot of ground, from the frustrations of high school to navigating tradition and family to the attempt to find one’s voice while living in a town riddled with Islamophobia. However, most of the film’s emotional weight is undermined by cheesy sing-alongs with the lyrics visualized in such a garish way that the supposed thematic significance bashes the audience in the head. Director and cowriter Gurinder Chadha senselessly pivots from a corny but harmless comedy musical to a tense family drama and without doing either successfully.



  • Gurinder Chadha


  • Viveik Kalra
  • Kulvinder Ghir
  • Meera Ganatra
  • Nell Williams
  • Aaron Phagura
  • Hayley Atwell
  • Dean-Charles Chapman


  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Gurinder Chadha
  • Paul Mayeda Berges
  • Sarfraz Manzoor


  • Alice Dawson
  • Gurinder Chadha
  • Hannah Leader
  • Jamal Daniel
  • Jane Barclay
  • Paul Mayeda Berges
  • Peter Touche
  • Renee Witt
  • Stephen Spence
  • Tory Metzger
  • Tracy Nurse

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