FILM REVIEW: Blinded By The Light


Good morning world and future anna. A film called Blinded By The Light comes out in a few weeks’ time but lucky me was able to see it 2 days ago, on the 9thJuly.

For those of you who aren’t aware, I spend most of my life in the cinema because what is better than seeing amazing films on the big screen? NOTHING! I’ll tell you that for free! As that hobby is quite expensive, I chose to get an unlimited card to my closest cinema, a Cineworld! To be honest, it is downright the BEST thing I have ever bought in my whole entire life and I am so grateful every time I use it for my friend Katt (hey katt!!!!) who persuaded me to buy it/gave me a lil cheeky discount! At the end of the contract you get an email saying how much you saved by having the card and I am so hyped to see that!

Anyway… Cineworld run secret showings of films that haven’t come out yet, open to their unlimited members. They don’t happen very often (even though 2 are taking place this month haha!) and as I was free, I decided to go along.

I was talking about it with James on the podcast (I’m a host on a podcast btw, go and listen: https://closeupculture.com/2019/07/08/spider-man-far-from-home-close-up-culture-podcast-10/) and I suspected that it might be Blinded By The Light, so as I sat in the cinema with my mint choc chip ice cream and saw the BBFC age rating screen tell me I was right, I was feeling over the moon.

Insert the kinda review/me just spilling my thoughts on Blinded by The Light:

After seeing the trailer a few times in the cinema, I knew this film was going to be one I saw, whether it was the secret showing or not. It looked fun, fresh and focused on Bruce Springsteen who I feel I’ve been connected to since birth due to my dad’s music loves. Whether sitting in the car or cleaning the house on a Saturday, my dad loves his music and it’s always a great day when Bruce is blasted through the speakers and my awful singing is disguised by The Boss and the E Street band. I’ve never really listened to the lyrics (although my favourites to scream is the first few lines of Hungry Heart) but the music feels so safe to me, so when I saw the trailer, it went on my watchlist straight away.

Based on the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, we meet Javed, a writer from the start, and then quickly see how he has grown up in Luton in Thatcherie Britain. At college, he discovers Bruce, and the British-Pakistani Muslim teen begins to live his life with Springsteen as the soundtrack. Times are tough, families are difficult, but Javed pushes forward with his dreams and with his loves.

I adored it. It was cringey at times but utterly fantastic and something I feel everybody can relate to. Whether experiencing politics, having to deal with family and culture, or growing up with a music idol who adorns your bedroom walls and CD collection, this film is the feel-good movie of the summer for me. It made the whole cinema laugh out loud as well as stop and think about the world we live in and how people can be awfully affected for no reason whatsoever.

It was disgusting to see how people were attacked for their background and culture, rather than accepted into the country, and it’s such a shame that things like this still take place. It made me angry but more aware than ever of how things still are and that more needs to be put into place. I was also shocked by the politics of the film. I didn’t grow up with Thatcher in charge, I wasn’t even born, but I think every person born gets fed with the fact that she wasn’t a good lady and even though this film isn’t a direct HATE production, it has moments and lines where we can see the truths behind the people at the time and how politics played a massive part in the lives of these people. Whether a billboard behind the main character or Miss Clay (played by Hayley Atwell) saying how there aren’t many jobs thanks to Mrs Thatcher, it really made me realise how times haven’t really changed and that is a crazy big shame.

Viveik Kalra was a fantastic Javed. He was emotional, strong and really made the whole audience feel for him. He was likeable and someone we could all relate to, through either who he was or what he liked. The actors who played Javed’s parents and sisters were brilliant as they were all so connected and real. I believed the dad, I believed the mum, I believed the sisters. I felt so connected to the family and their lives that I just wanted to give each of them a hug and tell them that it would all be ok. I think it can be so difficult to get families right in films and TV shows, but these guys were amazing.

The overall edit and style was very romantic and a homage to when it was set, opening with a cool montage setting the scene. But even though the colours were bright and light, it was gritty and harsh at times which made everyone in the cinema feel uncomfortable and helpless. It was so well done that I wanted to live a day with Javed and his friends, but at the same time I’m glad I don’t have to experience it.

The only thing that wasn’t really right for me was that it didn’t really have a story. Like, it had a story, you just didn’t know where it was going which can be dangerous for films like this. I knew it wouldn’t be a super late night but near the end I kept checking my watch as I have to be up early for work. Because of the story, I didn’t know when it would end or if the big speech would be the final moment of acceptance or the beginning of another strand. I loved it, but that was the only thing that stressed me out a little bit! Haha!

To finish, I loved this film and I’m so glad I’ve been able to see it early. I was so looking forward to seeing it and hopefully I can go again when it’s out. If you listen to the podcast, you’ll know my thoughts on the film Yesterday, but more me, Blinded by The Light is my film of the summer and the one I will be recommending.

So that’s it from me, let me know your thoughts when you see it!


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