1987, Margaret Thatcher’s England. Javed (Viveik Kalra), a 16-year-old British Pakistani boy, lives in the town of Luton. His father’s recent job termination and the neighbourhood skinheads are a daily reminder of the difficult times he’s living in. What young Javed really wants is to be a writer — something his father doesn’t approve of or understand — and when a new friend loans him a few Bruce Springsteen cassettes, Javed is changed forever. The Boss’s working-class anthems and affirming lyrics seem to speak directly to Javed, emboldening him to find his own voice as a writer, stand up to the racism around him, and challenge his father’s rigid ideals.
Based on the memoir Greetings from Bury Park by journalist/writer Sarfraz Manzoor, Blinded By The Light is a comedic, joyous musical companion piece to writer/director Gurinder Chadha’s 2002 hit film, Bend It Like Beckham. Heartwarming and inspiring, Javed’s story reminds us of the transformative, universal power of music to transcend race, class, and nationality and bind us all on a human level.