You may not recognize Gurinder Chadha’s name at first glance, but you surely know her work as a writer, director and producer. She’s the filmmaker behind the 2002 hit BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM, and she’s about to release her second major Hollywood feature, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, inspired by the music and lyrics of Bruce Springsteen.
The new dramedy tells the story of Javed (Viveik Kalra), a British teen of Pakistani descent trapped between two worlds. When a classmate introduces him to a Bruce Springsteen album, Javed begins to find the courage to express his own unique voice.
Like BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, many of Chadha’s films explore the dichotomies of dual identity. (Chadha herself was born in Kenya and raised in London.) Her first release, BHAJI ON THE BEACH — the first full-length feature made by a British-Asian woman — centers on a group of Indian women, across generations, and how they balance their culture and traditions with modern U.K. living.
The film received international recognition, including a BAFTA Nomination for Best British Film of 1994 and the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Newcomer to British Cinema. But her breakout work came in 2002 with BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM. The sports comedy was a box office success in both Britain and the U.S. — and introduced now-star Keira Knightley to the masses.
Needless to say, Chadha has an eye for up-and-coming talent, so we expect great performances from the fairly unknown cast of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. Based on the standing ovation at Sundance and the rave reviews from critics so far, the movie is bound to delight and inspire audiences and further establish Chadha as a filmmaker to watch.
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT opens at an AMC near you August 16.