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Blinded By the Light (2019) - Blu-ray Review

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Blinded by the Light

Bruce Springsteen.  The name alone creates a number of iconic images.  The fist raised in the sky. The bandana. The cut-off sleeves.  Asbury Park. The BIG man on the sax. That worn guitar. The cars and the girls.  Whatever it is for you, I assure you that I see it, too. And so does writer, producer, and director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), Sarfaz Manzoor (whose memoir is the basis for this movie), and Javed, played by Viveik Kaalra, the lead teenager at the heart of Blinded by the Light.  We all see it and feel it; that’s the key.

"It is relatable, honest, and one of the purest odes to working-class life to come to cinemas in a long, lonely time"

If you were raised in the 1980s or were coming of age in the 70s there is no way you escaped it alive without hearing Springsteen’s music with The E Street Band.  Forget the inescapable images for a second (if you can), for me, it was always about the music. And, damn, those lyrics. From the change in the subject matter (and the heroes) in the period of time that stretched between the albums Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town to the panoramic crush of Born in the USA, there was no escaping the man’s influence and his lyrics.

And if you were a British teen of Pakistani descent, like Javed in this movie, the moment you heard his music, well, the whole confusing scene of your existence suddenly has found its voice.  Javed lives in Luton, England. It is 1987 and there is a lot of racial and economical situations; Margaret Thatcher isn’t helping much either. Neither is Javed’s father (Kulvinder Ghir), who wants Javed to honor his traditional upbringing and stay close to the family instead of pursuing his writing and his poetry. 

But Javed’s only escape are his words.  They haunt him regularly because he knows - according to his father - that he shouldn’t be wasting time on them.  Imagine living that life for a minute. Imagine the constant struggle. Imagine being chased by street punks who want to keep Britain white.  There is no escape for him except through his words.  

But then, one day, his high school friend (Aaron Phagura) turns him on to the lyrics of Springsteen.  All it takes are two cassette tapes: Darkness on the Edge of Town (my personal favorite of Bruce’s) and Born in the USA (a damn classic) and suddenly Javed is transported.  He sees the lyrics of Springsteen’s songs on the walls of his room, in the streets, and all over his existence. His poetry is unleashed in a baptism of fire and all his pent-up dreams finally explode . . . Blinded by the Light

. . . and it is a musical display of fireworks that fans of The Boss will definitely understand. 

This film is a love letter to Springsteen and it echoes through your skull as his lyrics, once the synth-ridden world of the 80s is bathed in all things Bruuuuuuuuce, become the inspiration for Javed to take what he wants and pay the ultimate price.  In a lot of ways, Blinded By the Light feels like a Springsteen musical and, trust me, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that its being made into one, but this film is a heartfelt and earnest ode to the inspiration that gets us off our asses and out the door every single day.

It is relatable, honest, and one of the purest odes to working-class life to come to cinemas in a long, lonely time.  The film, featuring some fine photography by Ben Smithard, will be on blu-ray November 19.  

Put the disc in, sit back, and you too will be Blinded By the Light.

4/5 beers

Blinded by the Light


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray
- November 19, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English SDH, French, Spanish
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

From the creative team behind Bend it Like Beckham comes this uplifting tale of influence and working-class life for one teenage boy.  Blinded By the Light's home release is being handled by Warner Bros Home Entertainment and features a Blu-ray/DVD combo and a Digital copy code, too.  


The is a solid transfer that shows the details and all the ins and outs of life in 1987.  This is a beautiful 1080p 2.39:1 transfer that is always bright and colorful and rarely misses the mark in its tale of economical and racial tensions.  From the details in the clothes to all the fine textures on the Springsteen posters hung on the wall, nothing about this release disappoints. Colors are bold.  Outside scenes are expressive and, at night, no shadow loses its edge. Another solid release from Warner Bros.


The Dolby Atmos mix will make you a Springsteen believer.  Those drums of Max’s sound like thunder and they kick with cymbal crashes hard.  Dialogue is front and center and clear, too.



  • Unfortunately, there is no commentary and that fact is sad for a movie that is based on real events.  I am sure Manzoor and Chadha have a lot to say about working with the material and getting Springsteen’s approval on the project.

Special Features:

There are a few that fans of The Boss and the film will certainly dig.  There’s a featurette on the behind the scenes of turning the memoir to the movie, a look at actually meeting Springsteen and getting his blessing on the film (as well as his thoughts on the book), and a collection of deleted scenes.

  • Memoir to Movie
  • The Most Crazy Thing
  • Deleted Scenes

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

Blinded By teh Light

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material and language including some ethnic slurs..
118 mins
: Gurinder Chadha
Sarfraz Manzoor, Gurinder Chadha
Billy Barratt, Ronak Singh Chadha Berges, Viveik Kalra
: Drama |Comedy | Musical
For Everyone Who Has Ever Wanted to Dream. You're Not Alone.
Memorable Movie Quote: "They're not brilliant, but they're mine."
Theatrical Distributor:
New Line Cinema
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 16, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: November 19, 2019
Synopsis: In England in 1987, a teenager from an Asian family learns to live his life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of American rock star Bruce Springsteen.

Blinded By the Light

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