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Storyline (warning: spoilers)
Often when people migrate from one region to another, they bring their traditions with them from the “old country.” Habits are hard to break, and human beings tend to follow familiar paths from the past.
The Malik family, composed of wife Noor (Meera Ganatra), young son Javed (Viveik Kalra) and daughter Shazia (Nikita Mehta) live in the London suburb of Luton, somewhat out in the country from London. Javed is 16 and a boy with bright ideas who wants to be free of his father’s rigid rules and regulations. Dad wants to make all the decisions and have everybody jump to his every command, much as it was done back in Pakistan. Javed rebels, of course, and wants to be like all the other kids in school—freer and happy doing teen-aged activities with his friends. When Javed is introduced to the music of Bruce Springsteen, he goes nuts and falls in love with the meaning of his song lyrics. The songs give him a boost emotionally, and he is determined to write his own poetry, lyrics, and essays. Javed is actually very talented and can write poetry and essays which his teacher notices. She supports his creative efforts and encourages him to write. Although unsure of himself, he excels at school with his teacher’s backing. The music of Bruce Springsteen is interspersed throughout the film, although it is not, per se, a regular musical. Javed is overjoyed with his idol’s music, especially when he wins a contest and the prize is a trip to Springsteen’s Asbury Park birthplace.
The film, which is a true story based on the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, comes across as delightful and ultimately inspiring. Young Viviek Kalra brings charm and innocence to his role, and we learn to love him as a brother who is going through growing pains just as everybody else in the world does. The film shows that people are more or less the same all over the world. Blinded by the Light, an enjoyable film, points out how prejudices infect populations everywhere, and how love triumphs in the end.