This has to be quite a time for music lovers in regards to film. Loads of releases either being centered around music or biopics about legends in the film world. Director/screenwriter Gurinder Chadha (Viceroy’s House, Bend it Like Beckham) has added another film to her already strong CV. You might not expect a woman born in Kenya and raised in England, to have been interested in telling a story in which the music of American Bruce Springsteen and yet she does and does it well.
Being a teenager growing up in 1987 in rural England and being of Pakistani heritage, Javed (Viveik Kaira – first film) has often felt like an outsider in the overwhelmingly white world he has grown up in. Besides the usual teenage angst and pressure, Javed has to deal with a strict and intolerant father and well as racism he faces from his peers. Seems he is in a constant state of despair. That is until he is introduced to the music of Bruce Springsteen.
Javed wants to be a writer. Something his father (Kulvinder Ghir – The Queen’s Corgi, Bend it Like Beckham) does not approve of. Still he forges on, inspired by his English teacher, Ms. Clay (Hayley Atwell – Ant-Man, Avengers: Endgame), dreaming of earning a scholarship to university. This does not seem like it is going to happen until classmate Roops (Aaron Phagura – appeared in episodes of Doctor Who and The Coroner) introduces Javed to the music of Bruce Springsteen.
From that moment on Javed finds himself under the Springsteen spell. He really relates to what the American is singing about. The feelings in the songs hit home for him. The music becomes his safety net and spurs him on with his writing. Soon he is pursuing his dream even though doing so might see him lose his family in the process.
The story here is based on a true one. Of all the music films out lately it will not be seen by as many which is a shame. Fans flocked to Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody while this one stayed under the radar despite the Springsteen pull. Too bad as it is at least as good a film as the other two.
Rather than being about the music icon himself it is about an unknown. About how good music can serve as inspiration and provide us with the feeling of we are understood and supported.
This is tied to the feelings of gaining independence as a teenager and as how immigrants can not feel like outsiders. How we can gain inspiration everywhere. Even from people who are from different backgrounds than ourselves. Makes us all feel a little more connected to one another no matter where we come from. On the dark side also forces us to confront the damage which racism causes.
Uplifting, funny, touching, and heartwarming. Plenty of emotion to be found in the almost two hours of the film.
-Memoir to Movie
-The Most Crazy Things
-Deleted and Extended Scenes