Blinded by the Light Trailer

Viveik Kalra is likely not a name you know, unless you happened to have seen the Sundance TV mini-series Next of Kin (he had a supporting role in it) or caught his other series Beecham House on PBS earlier this summer. But Kalra has been getting a great deal of acclaim since January when his film debut Blinded by the Light, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and quickly became a favorite among critics and audiences. 

The film concerns a young Pakistani-British boy named Javed (Kalra), living in the crap town of Luten in 1987, when Britain was under the brutal reign of Margaret Thatcher, whose leadership seemed to usher the return of highly racist ideas among the populace. But when young, synth-pop-loving would-be poet and writer is introduced to the music of Bruce Springsteen by a school friend, the world opens up to him as he begins to realize that the hard journey of a 30-something rock star from New Jersey is quite similar to his own struggles at home, in school, and in his changing country. It’s an uplifting and unapologetically joyful coming-of-age film from director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), based on the memoir by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, both of whom collaborated on the screenplay, and made the film with Springsteen’s blessing and quite a handful of his original songs.

Kalra is now filming writer/director Neil Burger’s new sci-fi thrill Voyagers, co-starring Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, and Lily-Rose Depp. /Film caught up with him in May during his appearance at the Chicago Critics Film Festival to discuss his crash-course introduction to the music of Bruce Springsteen, how he got the role of Javed, and how this music and experience has altered the course of his life as well. Blinded by the Light is currently in theaters.

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Blinded by the Light Trailer

Even though the summer is chock-full of blockbusters, there are some indie treasures that will be vying for your attention this season, and one of them was quite the sensation at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

Based on Sarfraz Manzoor’s acclaimed memoir Greetings from Bury Park, the film Blinded by the Light tells the true story of how one Pakistani British teen (newcomer Viveik Kalra in a breakthrough performance) takes solace in the inspirational tunes of Bruce Springsteen. Clashing with his family, persecuted in the streets, and outcast at school, The Boss is the one thing that keeps this kid going strong. Watch the Blinded by the Light trailer below. Read More »

Blinded by the Light Review

Everyone has that one movie, TV show, book, or album that came along at the perfect time in their life. Just when everything felt like it was crumbling around you, this incredible piece of art lifted you up to make everything seem like it might be all right. In the irresistible coming-of-age indie Blinded by the Light, this revelation comes to a teenage Pakistani boy named Javed (Viveik Kalra) when he needs it the most. Suffocated by a small town, forced into a career he doesn’t want, and harassed by Neo-Nazis, Javed suddenly finds inspiration in an unlikely hero: Bruce Springsteen. Read More »