BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
directed by Gurinder Chadha
Bend It Like Beckham director’s Thatcher-era movie sings it like Springsteen.
Throwing Springsteen tunes such as Born to Run and Thunder Road onto streets ruled by Vauxhall Vivas and Morris Marinas works rather well, even if a few of the anthems get some amusingly crummy choreography sequences involving Javed and his mates. The story of the inspiration Javed takes from the lyrics – to follow his dream to become a writer, get a girlfriend and defy his traditionalist father’s expectations – is sweetly earnest, a product of being a loose adaptation of Greetings from Bury Park, a 2007 memoir from journalist Sarfraz Manzoor.
As with Springsteen’s shows, though, it can go on a bit. Its feelgood jubilance and laboured storytelling aren’t enough to sustain the interest for its two hours on screen. Still, the Springsteen faithful will find it an enjoyable testament to his universal human touch.
IN CINEMAS NOW
This article was first published in the August 31, 2019 issue of the New Zealand Listener.