Bright Star- Blinded by the Light Review

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Blinded_by_the_Light_(2019_film_poster)

Blinded by the Light Courtesy Wikipedia

Ever since Bend it Like Beckham I have been a huge fan of Gurinder Chadha and her latest film Blinded by the Light is just so cute.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a new bright star has arrived – Viveik Kalra who plays the role of Javed.

Blinded by the Light is based on the book, Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll by Sarfraz Manzoor.

This South Asian breakthrough story is full of the typical Asian drama, yet it carries that young spirit looking for their own path to success. There are several surreal moments, from the neighbour appreciating Javed’s talent to the girlfriend Eliza helping Javed’s father. All along we are the same, but nationalities, caste, religion or social stigmas have kept us apart.

Blinded by the Light is carried by the mature music and words of Bruce Springsteen – “The Boss”.

The most favourite scene was when Javed returns the gold bangles to his mother, who had to pawn them to pay the house bills when her husband lost his job.

The film’s look was authentic and the use of Bruce’s songs was cool. A.R. Rahman did the film score and composed a new song – For You My Love.

Let’s Have That Conversation, Viceroy’s House Film Review

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Viceroy's House courtesy of Another Tongue

Viceroy’s House courtesy of Another Tongue

The Bend It Like Beckham decided to make a personal story with the film Viceroy’s House. Director Gurinder Chadha who gained worldwide recognition with her film Bend It Like Beckham co-wrote the story for this film based on the Partition of India and Pakistan.

The film has been dubbed in Hindi and given the title Partition 1947 and Chadha’s grandparents were directly affected by this historical event.

The film stars the famous Downtown Abbey star Hugh Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten, X-files super star Gillian Anderson as Lady Mountbatten, Manish Dayal as Jeet and Huma Qureshi as Aalia. The film also includes the late Om Puri as Aalia’s blind father and a mix of British Asian and Indian actors in other roles.

Viceroy’s House as the name suggests is set on the last few weeks of the posting of Lord Mountbatten to India to complete the process of Independence and handover India to the countrymen. When he arrives there are many changes that begin and he soon realizes that there is the talk of partition looming. He tries his utmost to avoid the situation but the leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi are at a conundrum and Mountbatten gets the final approval from Prime Minister Churchill and thus the famous Radcliffe line is drawn.

In the backdrop is the love story between Hindu Jeet and Muslim Aalia, who have to make the decision just like the rest of the staff working for the Viceroy and the rest of the country to which side to swear their allegiance.

Gurinder Chadha gives you a great story and she does not waste time in keeping the pace of what needs to be done- the partition. With the production assistance from BBC Films there are several black and white newsreels she uses to add to the story and show the suffering and consequences of the carnage that was ensuing between the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. Historical films like these can not be all like Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, so Gurinder does deliver an important gem to the cinema industry that will be remembered for years to come.

There are excellent performances by Hugh, but it is Gillian as Lady Edwina and Manish Dayal as Jeet who steal your hearts.

Viceroy’s House will serve to be a productive discuss over ek cup chai.