As an unabashed member of the yeah, Springsteen’s music has spoken to me since the first listen club, I entered the theater to view Blinded by the Light With my dear wife Karen expecting to either love it or hate it.
The inspired-by-true-life story of a Pakistani youth growing up in a London suburb is indeed chock full of the Springsteen songs that teen Javed used to motivate himself through his normally awkward years.
Indeed, once he put that cassette tape into his Walkman, he also found courage to deal with worse-than-normal family turmoil and racist behavior in school and his neighborhood.
His inner Bruce helped the poet that always lived inside Javed flourish. With the message behind Springsteen’s songs coursing through his brain and veins, he could stand up to his out-of-work father and his traditional ways, get that writing job at the newspaper, talk to the pretty girl in his English class and then ask her out …
It’s a warm story, really.
The cheesy parts, when he and his best friend and his girlfriend dance around the city to Bruce, well that reminded me of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! and its campy treatment to ABBA hits. Not exactly what I’d serve up for Bruce Springsteen. But here it worked within the bigger picture of director Gurinder Chada’s vision.
The speech the young man gives on his school stage after winning a very prestigious writing award says so much.
And, when they rolled real footage and photos of Sarfraz Manzoor’s real trip to New Jersey and various meetings with The Boss over the credits, I liked the whole package even more.