Blinded by the Light Blu-ray Review

From Warner Brothers Home Entertainment comes the inspirational drama Blinded by the Light, a joyful story of courage, love, hope, family and the unique ability of music to lift the human spirit, that is set to the music and lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s timeless songs. Check out Ralph Potts’ Blu-ray review.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90

Details:

Studio and Year: Warner – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 118 minutes
Genre: Drama/Biopic

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Dolby Digital English 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra, Nell Williams, Aaron Phagura, Dean- Charles Chapman
Directed by: Gurinder Chadha
Music by: A.R. Rahman
Written by: Sarfraz Manzoor, Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 19, 2019

“Inspired by the True Story”

Synopsis:

“From writer-director-producer Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It Like Beckham”) comes the inspirational drama “Blinded by the Light,” set to the music and lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s timeless songs, a joyful story of courage, love, hope, family and the unique ability of music to lift the human spirit.” – Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.

My Take:

The film tells the story of Javed (Viveik Kalra), a British teen of Pakistani descent growing up in the town of Luton, England, in 1987. Amidst the racial and economic turmoil of the times, he writes poetry as a means to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the inflexibility of his traditional father (Kulvinder Ghir). But when a classmate (Aaron Phagura) introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Javed sees parallels to his working-class life in the powerful lyrics. As Javed discovers a cathartic outlet for his own pent-up dreams, he also begins to find the courage to express himself in his own unique voice.

Inspired by a true story, based on co-writer Sarfraz Manzoor’s acclaimed memoir “Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll,” Blinded by the Light is a coming of age drama/biopic that fires on all cylinders. As a fan of these types of films and as someone that vividly recalls the period in which it takes place. It’s a predominantly light, spirited and tonally engaging film with a feel-good essence that left a smile on my face. It’s a personal and explorative story that tells of Javed’s transformative experience after finding a means of expression through poetry and the inspirational music of Springsteen.

The narrative is filled with subtlety, some purposeful, some natural, and a wonderfully balanced story that speaks to the meaningful relationships in Javed’s life, while not giving way to the oft used romance melodrama that can generally be found in a genre piece like this.

Co-writer/director Gurinder Chadha paints in even strokes with respect to setting the thematic tone of the film, the rendering of its characters, their interpersonal relationships and, conflict. She builds upon them well, via engaging interplay and the interwoven music which is quite entertaining. I found Viveik Kalra’s performance to be the foundation upon which the story rests. The remaining members of the cast are solid in their respective supporting roles.

It would be fair to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Blinded by the Light. I appreciated its authenticity, charming performances and fresh essence all of which adds up to a memorable, nostalgic and feel good film that is invigorating, moving and, fun.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic material and language including some ethnic slurs.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

Blinded by the Light comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

This is a great looking high definition video presentation from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. Images are resolved with appreciable detail that reveals plenty of discernible texture during close up camera shots. The exterior pans of various shooting locations are clearly rendered while offering lucid long-range visual acuity that allows the physical structure of buildings, streets and objects in backgrounds to be discernible. The film doesn’t utilize an extensive chromatic palette but tonal balance is on the money which leaves colors looking quite natural and pleasing. Fleshtones appear lifelike in depiction. White and black levels are appropriately balanced which provides punchy whites and stable blacks.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety that makes steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics, music and discrete sound effects. This is done very well and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. There are several set pieces that show off the track’s blend of music and, smaller object sounds that create a wonderfully involving listening experience, that broadens the soundstage. For instance, there is some excellent use of the overhead channels during the scene where Javed is at the street market and begins to sing to Eliza along with Springsteen’s music through his headphones. While this isn’t what I would regard as an aggressive Atmos mix I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere combined with discrete object placement. I think that it made for an entertaining listening experience.

The lossless soundtrack is above average for a dialog driven film like this and features lively dynamics, clearly articulated dialogue, in an open sounding and airy presentation. The film’s music is spread over the entire system with primary instrumental focus being delivered by the front three channels with ambient extension bled to the surround speakers. I thought this surround mix was perfectly suited for the film and sounded wonderful.

Bonus Features:

  • Memoir to Movie
  • The Most Crazy Thing
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Inspired by a true story, based on co-writer Sarfraz Manzoor’s acclaimed memoir “Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll,” Blinded by the Light is a coming of age drama/biopic that fires on all cylinders, making for a memorable, nostalgic and feel good film that is invigorating, moving and, fun. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video, including a solid Dolby Atmos surround mix and a fair supplemental package. Blinded by the Light is pitch perfect entertainment that is tailor made for genre fans that feed on its subject matter.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems