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Wick's Review

Created Aug 28, 2019 07:42AM PST • Edited Sep 23, 2019 04:46PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Bruce Springsteen songs drive Blinded by the Light, a helluva good concept, well played. That said, the film itself is somewhat cloying, more fanzine than Rolling Stone, albeit elevated by the Boss’s oeuvre.

    The movie does a great job with some Springsteen songs, projecting the lyrics on walls around a kid hearing them when they were the most meaningful thing in his life. Other songs, not so much. To wit, some Bollywood-like scenes are set to serious songs that don’t fit the happy dances the characters are doing.

    Another ding: The movie incorrectly presents Bruce’s music as a way of life. But, “his music is a coping mechanism,” says Aaron Phagura in the nearby video. The movie’s Sikh swami of Springsteen is right.

    Still, Blinded by the Light is a hoot and a treat for Springsteen fans of all stripes. Interestingly, it’s also the second British rock wannabe movie of 2019 to star a South Asian, Yesterday being the first and better one. More generally, it’s been a great couple years for classic rock appreciation at the multiplex: Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody), Elton John (Rocketman), The Beatles (Yesterday), and now the Bard of New Jersey.

    “Long live rock!” Oops, that’s The Who. “Tramps like us, baby we were born to ruuunnnnnnnn!”

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Mostly newcomers, the entirely winning cast are by turns fresh, funny and brilliant – British brilliant.

    • Viveik Kalra is the hero, a workingman’s only son. Hmm, who’s that remind you of?
    • Kulvinder Ghir uses his well honed comedic chops as his hard-working father.
    • Nell Williams is smart and cute as his girlfriend.
    • Dean-Charles Chapman is his pretty-boy buddy.
    • Aaron Phagura is his Sikh swami of Springsteen.
    • Hayley Atwell is the one star of note as his cool writing teacher.
    • Rob Brydon is the other dad and also more than a bit funny.
  4. Male Stars Very Good 3.5
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Good 3.0

    This somewhat autobiographical film has lots to love and some elements to disdain.

    • Great job showing the teenage tribes – Goths, etc. Great job also showing the angst of middle England in the troubled Eighties, as it felt the brunt of inefficient industries restructuring.
    • Mistakenly suggests common cause between the National Front neo-Nazis and Thatcher’s Conservatives. Just because two groups are opposite you doesn’t mean they are together.
    • Gets well earned yuks by making a funny joke about ‘Springsteen’ sounding like a Jewish name.
  9. Direction OK 2.5

    Gurinder Chadha previously directed Bend It Like Beckham, so she knows British-Asian wannabe territory.

  10. Play Good 3.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Very Good 3.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.9
  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Fierce 1.6
  17. Rudeness Profane 2.6
  18. Glib 1.2
  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.5
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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