Nick Wall/Warner Bros

"Blinded By the Light" Blasts Cinemas With Inspiring Bruce Springsteen Music

It took 32 years to hear from a voice like this, and it's still universally applicable.

Blinded By the Light is worth seeing in theaters just to hear the soundtrack in Dolby.

It's not just Bruce Springsteen either, the movie features music from the Pet Shop Boys, Cutting Crew, and more. There are myriad other reasons to see Blinded By the Light, but theater sound makes it a priority.

Javed Khan (Viveik Kaira) is a Pakistani teenager living in Luton, England in 1987. His father Malik (Kulvinder Ghir) and mother Noor (Meera Ganatra) work tirelessly to support him and his sisters Shazia (Nikita Mehta) and Yasmeen (Tara Divina). Javed's family expects him to study economics and get a good, stable job.

Viveik Kalra in Blinded by the Light VIVEIK KALRA as Javed in New Line Cinema's inspirational drama BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Nick Wall/Warner Bros.

Although his parents are well-meaning, Javed feels oppressed by the pressure they put on him. High school is already a grind, but his family's emphasis on a rigid path allows little time for the experience of childhood, and his parents are too busy to do anything but check in on his academic progress. Worse, however, is that Luton is filled with racists who spit on Pakistanis and pee in their neighbors' mail slots.

The film comes to life when Javed hears the music of Bruce Springsteen. The sound drowns out the mundane distractions of his day to day life. The lyrics not only appear on screen, but drive the direction of the movie. The text isn't just for the audience to sing along, its active on the screen and literally circle Javed in creative interactive effects. Javed finds inspiration for his creativity through his love of music, and that's what Blinded by the Light is really about.

Viveik Kalra in Blinded by the Light VIVEIK KALRA as Javed in New Line Cinema's inspirational drama BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Nick Wall/Warner Bros.

Javed is a gifted writer, but that's a craft that doesn't fit into his father's plan. An encouraging teacher, Ms. Clay (Hayley Atwell), lets Javed know that his writing is worth pursuing. Javed has a unique voice that the world deserves to hear. It doesn't take long before neighbors and classmates validate Javed's talent as well. Springsteen's music also helps Javed come out of his shell socially. From wearing New Jersey clothes to his newfound confidence, his passion for music becomes infectious.



Blinded by the Light demonstrates the difficulties of generational conflict. Javed's writing creates conflict with his father. At first, he just tries to keep it a secret. But it's not long before Javed gets too much attention to hide it, which is when Malik goes into authoritarian mode and insists his son give up writing to focus on something more practical. Despite his good intentions, Malik fundamentally misunderstands his son and insists he gives up his passion and does things his way.


KULVINDER GHIR as Malik in New Line Cinema's inspirational drama BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.Warner Bros.

That's a theme writer/director Gurinder Chada also addressed in Bend It Like Beckham. In both films, he seems to conclude that the solution isn't just to let kids do whatever they want, but to be open to new possibilities. Malik's way simply doesn't work for Javed.


Chada still snuck some dance numbers into Blinded By The Light even though it's not a full on musical. Most pointed are the moments when that euphoria collides with racism, underscoring that there are stark realities in Luton alongside the escape of music. Above all, these very human characters will survive to the next euphoric moments.


Blinded By the Light VIVEIK KALRA as Javed and NELL WILLIAMS as Eliza in New Line Cinema's inspirational drama BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Nick Wall/Warner Bros.

Blinded By the Light is a universally appealing story because everyone feels lost and misunderstood sometimes no matter how rich or popular they are. You don't have to be a writer, Pakistani, British or a Springsteen fan to relate to this film, but in 2019 we are still struggling to give mainstream platforms to diverse voices. It was even harder than many can imagine for someone like Javed to succeed in 1987. Javed is probably the ideal version of the underdog, leading a story in which one triumphs enough over adversity to become the protagonist of a movie inspired by his life and inspiring others to realize that their voices matter.

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