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Blinded by the Light

First slide

The hardscrabble world of 1980s Luton, England, provides the setting for this touching fact-based mix of drama and comedy from writer-director Gurinder Chadha. Amid political and racial tensions, a British Pakistani teen (Viveik Kalra) aspires to be a poet but is hemmed in by his overbearing father (Kulvinder Ghir), who wants him to pursue a more lucrative career. Introduced by a classmate (Aaron Phagura) to the music of Bruce Springsteen, the lad finds a fresh source of inspiration in the Boss' working-class anthems. His newfound enthusiasm is shared by the fellow student (Nell Williams) for whom he's fallen but not by his best friend since childhood (Dean-Charles Chapman) with whom his relationship has already become fraught. Abundant charm and an insightful depiction of the ups and downs of both friendship and family life make this a winner. Possibly acceptable for mature teens.

Watch out for: Some mild sensuality, a scatological incident, at least one use of profanity, an ethnic stereotyping theme, occasional crude and crass talk.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG-13

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019