‘Blinded by the Light,’ the movie showcasing Bruce Springsteen’s iconic songs, hit theaters in 2019. Through Javed Khan’s story we see the power of music and the human heart.
Blinded by the Light is based on the memoir Greetings from Bury Park by Sarfraz Manzoor. Let me just say, I was over the moon when I watched the trailer for this movie. I grew up listening to Bruce Springsteen but didn’t really understand his lyrics until college.
I didn’t get to catch the movie in theaters, but I streamed it on Hulu recently. ‘Blinded by the Light’ perfectly captures the journey we have to find out who we are, and the struggle this can lead to with our parents. There is nothing as resilient as the human spirit, especially when paired with Bruce Springsteen’s iconic catalogue.
We follow Javed as he enters college feeling like a fish out of water. He makes a friend who introduces him to Bruce Springsteen, “The Boss,” and the movie takes off from there. The moment Javed connects with Springsteen’s music gives me chills. Some argue the lyrics prominently shown on screen makes it hokey, but I think it’s a charming addition to the film.
Javed is inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics in a newfound, powerful way. He takes this confidence and continues to pursue his dream of being a writer. Springsteen also gives him the courage to make a move on the girl he’s got a crush on.
There are light-hearted moments in the film, but ‘Blinded by the Light’ also deals with the seriousness of racism and discrimination too. Javed, the son of Pakistani immigrants living in Luton, England, must witness and overcome the racism hurled at him, and others like him.
Thematically, the title ‘Blinded by the Light’ makes sense because Javed is blinded by Bruce Springsteen and the dreams he ignites. However, I find it ironic that the most famous version of the song isn’t Bruce Springsteen’s. More well-known songs from Springsteen’s discography are focal points to flesh out what Javed feels during the movie.
When I first heard about ‘Blinded by the Light’ I was sold purely because it was a film featuring Bruce Springsteen’s music. By the end of the film, Javed touched my heart as much as Springsteen has throughout my life. ‘Blinded by the Light’ is cinematic magic when both Javed and Bruce Springsteen collaborate to show the power and strength of the human heart.