The First Truly Bad Movie I’ve Seen In A While

I don’t seek out opportunities to write negative stuff about culture, but I also feel like too many people are afraid of it. We’re writing about entertainment, and some of it is bad. It’s OK to say that. Maybe if your friend’s community theater production of some David Sedaris play sucks you don’t say anything, but when we’re talking widely-distributed professional films, it’s the nature of the beast. Now, since I am not a film critic, per se, I get to pick and choose what I see. I’m pretty good at it. Most movies I opt to see are, at worst, mediocre. Rarely do I end up watching something bad. Well it just happened to me. So that the experience isn’t a total waste, I figured I’d write about it. The film in question is 2019’s Blinded by the Light.

The movie is about a Pakistani teenager growing up in England who finds Bruce Springsteen’s music. It’s based on a real story. Sarfraz Manzoor, who wrote the memoir, is also a writer on the film. I’m glad that it seems the music of Springsteen meant a lot to him and inspired him. Having a movie made about your life might be cool. Unfortunately, Blinded by the Light is just straight-up awful. Thankfully I’m not a professional film critic, because otherwise I couldn’t have just turned the movie off and watched 3rd Rock from the Sun instead.

Ugh, where to begin. Everything about this movie feels off. I was intrigued by the premise. I like Bruce Springsteen. He’s one of those musicians who I really dig the hits but only really know the hits. However, he has like 20 hits, so that’s still plenty of music to get into. Enough to say that, by and large, I’m a fan. The delivery is such a disaster, though. The script is not any good. It’s so clunky. The voiceover narration is truly horrendous. Both in terms of the writing and the delivery. Things just sort of feel like they are randomly happening. It’s a cheesy movie. The lead actor is not good, unfortunately. The director also struggles with pacing and the editing is poor. There is really nothing I can say about this movie that is positive. People talk in exposition dumps. Even when we finally hear Springsteen’s music, it’s hurt by the way that part is filmed. It’s like watching a bad MTV music video from the ‘80s. If I were to say anything positive, the costuming is fun. A lot of delightful ‘80s looks.

Alas, that’s about it. Blinded by the Light is a total misfire. I don’t care who you are. Are you a huge Springsteen fan? Skip it. Do you like coming of age dramas? Skip it. There is nothing to recommend about this movie. For the first time in, frankly, months I sat down to watch a movie I was interested in and came away totally disappointed. The 3rd Rock episodes I watched were fun though. Maybe watch that instead.

About Chris Morgan

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One comment

  1. I’m afraid to hear about the films you do choose to watch. I like coming of age films, I’m not really a Springsteen fan, but came across this feel good movie during quarantine and I loved it. Watched it twice. Love the actors, (did you notice the neighbor is from 1917?) (another great film). Loved the music and theme. Not sure if you come from working class and/or immigrant family, but that’s where I related the most. Being a child of an immigrant and trying to identify to 2 cultures and the struggles it comes with. Thankfully you’re not a real movie critic.

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