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Gurinder Chadha
Viveik Kalra, Nell Williams, Aaron Phagura
Writing Credits:
Sarfraz Manzoor, Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges

In England circa 1987, a teenager learns to live his life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.

Box Office: .
Opening Weekend
$4,333,305 on 2307 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 118 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 11/19/2019

• “Memoir to Movie” Featurette
• “The Most Crazy Thing” Featurette
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• Previews


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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Blinded By the Light [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 11, 2019)

Loosely inspired by the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, 2019’s Blinded By the Light takes us to Luton, England circa 1987. The son of Pakistani parents Malik (Kulvinder Ghir) and Noor (Meera Ganatra), 16-year-old Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra) struggles to fit in with his setting and peers.

Only Javed’s lifelong pal Matt (Dean-Charles Chapman) remains in his corner. An aspiring writer, Javed finds himself held down by his dad’s expectations that he find a more “practical” career.

One day Javed literally runs into classmate Roops (Aaron Phagura), a massive Bruce Springsteen fan. When he senses that Javed needs an inspiration, Roops loans him two Springsteen cassettes.

These prove revelatory. Packed with newfound strength, Javed pursues his interest in writing and also finds himself on the cusp of a romantic relationship with classmate Eliza (Nell Williams).

In many ways, I should identify with Javed. I wasn’t much older than 16 in 1987, and I also became a huge Springsteen fan a few years earlier. Throw in my youthful interest in journalism and Light should really connect.

Alas, it doesn’t, and not due to the obvious dissimilarities between Javed and me. I’m American and white, so I have a radically different background than Javed, but there’s still enough in common that I should relate to the story.

Perhaps I might if Light came with a focused story. Unfortunately, it attempts to pack so many different narrative moments into its 118 minutes that it becomes thin and erratic.

At its heart, Light should become a basic “coming of age” story. It should focus on how Springsteen’s music allows Javed to find himself and grow as a person.

That remains the overriding theme, but Light crams in so many other components that it feels overstuffed and superficial. In addition to Javed’s personal journey, we get a look at the dire circumstances of life in Thatcher’s UK, racism, a first romance, parental pressures and probably three or four other concepts I forgot.

Oh, and Light often feels like a glorified ad for Springsteen’s back catalog. There’s a more than occasional impression that the movie exists mainly to motivate sales of Bruce’s old albums.

Even without that, Light just lacks depth. It plays Javed’s path in such a superficial manner that we don’t feel his pain or his triumphs in a moving manner.

We also find ourselves stuck with characters who change at the drop of a hat. Roles vary dependent on the narrative’s desires and lack much organic development.

Expect a fair amount of anachronisms as well. Some of the musical choices/comments make no sense, such as when Javed’s pal Matt refers to synth music as “the future”. Synth-based songs had been popular for years by 1987, but Light often feels like it takes place in 1980 instead.

Also, we get sloppy goofs. For instance, Javed and Roops eventually fly into Newark Airport in New Jersey – where a sign welcomes them to New York. Wha?

All of these factors lead to a surprisingly dull experience. There’s a good movie buried beneath all the extraneous material, but the slew of superfluous plot points harpoon the final result.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Blinded By the Light appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a top-notch image.

Sharpness was positive. Virtually no softness impacted the presentation, so the movie remained tight and well-defined most of the time.

I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.

Light went with a teal-influenced palette that sprinkled in a fair amount of amber/orange as well. Within the movie’s color design, the tones seemed solid.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows demonstrated nice smoothness. This was a consistently satisfying image.

As for the Dolby Atmos mix of Light, it showed scope generally typical of the drama/comedy soundfield. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s material allowed it to open up in a satisfying manner when necessary

Musical segments added immersiveness, and parties/clubs added breadth. The mix used the music in a broad, engaging manner, and the whole package fit together smoothly. Scenes like a major rainstorm brought the best impact, though most of the movie concentrated on dialogue and music.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music seemed warm and lush, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Bass responses delivered great punch. The mix suited the story and kicked into gear when necessary.

A few extras flesh out the disc, and Memoir to Movie fills six minutes, 10 seconds. We get comments from director Gurinder Chadha, co-writer/author Sarfraz Manzoor, and actor Viveik Kalra.

“Memoir” looks at the factual basis behind the story and liberties, story/characters, Chadha’s approach, the use of Springsteen’s music, locations, period details, and other production thoughts. While brief and superficial, “Memoir” brings some useful notes.

The Most Crazy Thing runs six minutes, 55 seconds and includes notes from Chadha and Manzoor. They discuss the impact of Springsteen on their lives as well as his cooperation with the film and story/thematic elements. “Thing” complements “Memoir” well.

Three Deleted/Extended Scenes span a total of nine minutes, 48 seconds. The first offers more of 10-year-old Javed and Matt as well as a longer intro to 16-year-old Javed.

The second depicts more of the conflicts between Javed and his dad, while the third expands the awkward dinner at Eliza’s house. All three add a little character/narrative information but they tend to feel superfluous.

The disc opens with ads for Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars, Motherless Brooklyn and The Good Liar. No trailer for Light appears here.

A pretty standard coming of age story, Blinded By the Light benefits from a great soundtrack. Unfortunately, the narrative itself becomes messy and unconvincing. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals as well as good audio and minor bonus features. This ends up as a pretty mediocre movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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