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One Movie Punch

Aug 31, 2019

Hi everyone!

We’re closing out the week with another review from One Movie Spouse, her second Certified Fresh review for the week. She has to go back to school next week, but thankfully she left us with a few extra reviews we’ll have coming out in the next two weeks before the break. And she seemed to really like today’s film. For a few other recent reviews from Amy, check out “The Hate U Give” (Episode #559), “Echo in the Canyon” (Episode #566), and “Plus One” (Episode #573).

Before the review, we’ll have a promo from the Top 5 for Fighting podcast! Be sure to catch their latest thoughts on the Sony / Marvel break-up over Spider-Man, along with their most recent look at the many, many, MANY Florida stories out there. You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @top5forfighting. That’s the number five. Don’t miss a single episode!

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Here we go!




Hello, it’s me Amy, aka One Movie Spouse ::MWAH:: 

This past year, there has been a flurry of highly entertaining, fantastic musical films. Today’s film is no exception! The moment I see a trailer drop for a film including song and dance, I’m your gal, ready and set to review them. Listen to my review, then catch me on Twitter @OneMovieSpouse to keep the discussion going.

Today’s movie is “Blinded By The Light”, the musical dramedy directed by Gurinder Chadha and written for the screen in collaboration with Sarfraz Manzoor, and Paul Mayeda Berges. This film is a coming-of-age film for Javed (Viveik Kalra), who is inspired by the songs of Bruce Springsteen to recognize his talents and passions while discovering himself. Most importantly, he learns to always follow the music in your heart (and head) despite what others may think.

No spoilers!

The concept for this film came from Sarfraz Manzoor’s 2007 memoir “Greetings from Bury Park”. It describes his teenage life in a working class town north of London in the 1980s. Sarfraz Manzoor, along with friends Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges, does an incredible job bringing this story to life on the screen. The film opens on a lonely Anglo-Pakistani teen named Javed, struggling to find his place within the world and within his family. He finds solace in writing poetry, much to the disdain of his father. It’s when Javed’s friend, Roops (Aaron Phagura) introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, that he finds an immediate connection. And when Javed begins exploring more of his music, he finds a much-needed increase in his confidence and self-expression.

As Javed deals with his internal struggles, he also has to deal with external struggles. His family and members of their community are regular targets of malicious racism, while working hard to create a better life and more opportunities for their families than what was available to them in Pakistan. This film contains multiple scenes involving racial slurs, racist graffiti, and acts of violence. While it is difficult and heartbreaking to watch some of these scenes, it shows the determination and resiliency of these families, adding depth to the film’s story and to the complexity of the film’s characters, along with insight into their real-life counterparts.

The cinematography and set/color schemes were visually appealing! Authentic clothing, hairstyles, and accessories add to the richness of the visual story, complementing the audio story of Springsteen’s music. The lyrics were interwoven into the dialogue, sometimes displaying the text on screen as each song plays in Javed’s Walkman. The effect was well presented and never felt cliché or overdone. In fact, it helps us feel Javed’s deep connection with the music in all aspects of his life, making him even more relatable as a character and a person. Despite all his struggles and changes, Springsteen’s music remains an anchor for Javed. I think back to my teenage years and there are definitely songs I can clearly recall helping me through tough times, and others marking moments of celebration in my life. “Blinded by the Light” reminds us that music is a powerful tool that can help us individually as well as unite us within a community.

“Blinded By The Light” is a film of artistic expression, as told by the story of Javed finding his place in this world, and the voice within to express himself. The film is visually stunning and will appeal to fans of music movies, coming of age stories, Springsteen fans, and 80s music fans.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% (CERTIFIED FRESH)

Metacritic: 71

One Movie Punch: 9.5/10

“Blinded By The Light” (2019) is rated PG-13 and is currently playing in theaters.