Blinded By The Light (PG13)

Starring Viveik Kalra, Aaron Phagura, Hayley Atwell

Directed by Gurinder Chadha

After examining the evils of colonialism in Viceroy’s House, Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha tackles another true story, this time a more upbeat one based on British journalist Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir, Greetings from Bury Park: Race. Religion. Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Viveik Kalra plays Javed, a nerdy Anglo-Pakistani teen and budding writer in Thatcher-era ’80s era who finds inspiration in Bruce Springsteen’s music. Getting in the way of his literary dreams are his disapproving immigrant parents who think “writing is for white people with rich parents”. 

Good thing his teacher (Hayley Atwell) and friends (Aaron Phagura, Nell Williams, and Dean-Charles Chapman) have his back. Them, and, of course, the Boss’ life-affirming anthems. The plot points in Viveik’s underdog/coming-of-age story are familiar and the musical numbers may be a bit on the cheesy side, but the ensemble’s spirited and affecting performances keep things compelling. (***1/2)

Photos: Warner Bros Pictures, TPG News/Click Photos 

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