Blinded By The Light, 5.75/10, is light-hearted fun and has a strong message about remaining humble but sadly that doesn’t automatically make it a good movie. Director Gurinder Chadha has a history of producing some “coming of age” films – some of which are brilliant and some are simply not. Amidst the mass of musically orientated films being released at the moment, Blinded By The Light never really seemed particularly confident in what kind of direction it was pursuing resulting in some cringeworthy moments at times.
Teenage outcast Javed (Viveik Kalra) lives in austerity-ridden Luton in the 80s but the music of Bruce Springsteen changes his life. He discovers love, friendship, the strength of family and his own voice.
So what does Blinded By The Light do well? It has captured the times wonderfully: the costumes, the soundtrack, the socioeconomic commentary and discovering music by actually having to source it and it then dominating your whole life. Contemporary music is far easier to obtain, literally at the end of your finger tips. It was heart warming to see how music can touch someone so deeply when the artist and the listeners lives are so juxtaposed.
Where Blinded By The Light falls short is its over focus on establishing the troubling times and how it then overlooks character development. It seemed to be trying to do to so many things at once that it lost momentum in them all and therefore lost the audience, well maybe just me. I felt the acting was very wooden and in some of the more ‘poignant’ moments, the impact is lost through flat delivery. For those looking to be taken back to the 80’s then this film will deliver however if you are a cinema lover looking for more than a nostalgia trip, this sadly won’t be the film for you.
Entertainment (of its genre): 6.5/10
Overall rating….. 5.75/10