I’m a Bruce Springsteen fan, have been for a long time. I’m old enough to have bought the Born in the USA album when it came out (okay to be honest 5 years after it came out) still I’ve enjoyed his music for about 30 years. So with a Cineplex credit and some decent reviews, I gave this a watch on a Sunday morning.
I’m fortunate to be Caucasian and have been been picked on because of my race. This movie deals a lot with racism in England in the 1980s but is also a love letter to Bruce and how his music changed a young man’s life.
Like the main character I can, however, identify with not fitting in well at school, being picked on and having trouble talking with women (and being confident). I also often went to music for solace and meaning. I also wrote for the school paper (high school and university) and love to write, so there is a lot I can connect with here.
The movie also teaches you about Pakistan culture and family, along with the important message that we are really all the same no matter where we come from, what we look like, what our religion is or any other non-important trait we may have.
I will also say there is some really interesting use of visuals and some genuinely touching (and disturbing/upsetting moments). That’s all the good. There is some bad. While this isn’t a musical there are plenty of moments where it feels like it is. I like a movie with clear direction and I found a lot of these moments to just be distracting and not to fit in well with the story.
Great music (mostly), good acting and a solid story (again mostly) certainly made this enjoyable for me. There is some language, violence and mature themes, so I would say ages 13+. So please no children. I give it 7.5 out of 10. It goes without saying that a Bruce Springsteen fan will enjoy this more but otherwise it’s just a nice movie with a good message. Stay to the end to see about the real people it’s based on.