aNote: This is a spoiler-free Blinded By The Light movie review
There are no two ways about it — the musical at the movie theater is back. The problem is they’ve been hit and miss.
Bohemian Rhapsody received approximately 35 more awards than it deserved. Rocketman entertained throughout. If the ending of Yesterday could have been worse, you’ll have to let me know how.
The latest rendition of movie musical recognizes New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen. How does it turn out?
Despite an auspicious start, Blinded By The Light turns into a fast-paced, sing-a-long, fun ride that hits on a wide range of emotions.
Dancing In The Dark At The Start
The payoff is good, but it takes some effort to get into Blinded By The Light. The start is slow and doesn’t set up the audience to get excited about what they’re watching.
The beginning is also “corny”, for lack of a better term, in a few ways at the start. First, the jokes cater to cheap laughs and don’t start the movie the way they’re intended.
Also, the way the first Springsteen song is presented doesn’t work. He’s walking around town in the rain and the lyrics appear on walls, which gives it more of a cheap music video feel than anything else. This gets better throughout the movie, but it’s a rocky beginning.
On Fire In The Middle
That said, the songs pick up in the middle and the Blinded By The Light provides plenty of sing-a-long entertainment. You’ll particularly enjoy a scene in the town square. The way Thunder Road is presented in the movie is a highlight.
Without a doubt the star of the show is the star of Springsteen’s catalog — Born To Run.
There’s a level of expectation with Born To Run in a Bruce Springsteen musical, and Blinded By The Light does not disappoint.
The reason the song is played fits well within the story and it picks up the energy of the movie. The audience can feel the moment building and a need to sing along once it hits. The scene is vital to the movie, in both keeping attention of the audience and setting up what comes next.
Story As Good As The Songs
A vulnerable look into the story of a teenager’s upbringing complements the fast-paced tone of the musical portions during Blinded By The Light like a yin and yang.
The movie wouldn’t work as well if this was simply a kid discovering good music. The movie needs the dynamic of Javed struggling, looking to break out and in need of something to relate to. His dichotomy and discovering makes you root for him more than anything and makes the ending even more powerful.
The fact that this is all based on a true story is another thing that adds to the relatability in Blinded By The Light. This is isn’t a loosely based true story. By all accounts, this is an inspiring true story that deserves to be told. The production team recognizes that and relies on it. Kudos to them.
In the end, this film is about the plights of a kid trapped in a traditionalist family looking and to break out. The message is universal and hits hard, told interestingly along the way through the music of Springsteen. It’s a good mix and a valiant effort at telling a unique story.
Should I Go See Blinded By The Light?
In the ranks of the recent movie musicals, Blinded By The Light falls right in the middle. Some parts rock, while others miss the mark. You’ll certainly enjoy it more if you’re a Springsteen fan, but it’s not necessary. It’s not mandatory to see in the theater, but it makes for an entertaining, pick-me-up watch on the weekend sometime soon.
(Featured Image courtesy of EPK)