I just had a chance to watch a prerelease showing of “Blinded by the Light”.
I started crying during one of the first scenes and I couldn’t stop till the end.
I don’t think I ever saw a cinema audience reacting so affectionately to a movie. There was a moment when I thought “damn, good job, Javed, I so wanna start clapping for you!”. Stupid, right? He’s not gonna hear me. He’s an actor playing some guy and they both are nowhere near, why would anyone sane applaud some pixels on the screen?
And literally one second later half of the movie theater started applauding Javed.
We were laughing with him, we were sad with him, we were angry with him, we dreamed with him, we enjoyed music with him...
Even the strange musical-ish scene turned out to be not so fake after all. Have you ever seen a musical where people don’t know the choreography or lyrics? Yeah, it’s called life.
Javed was told by his father that he, as a Pakistani, has to keep his head low to avoid racism. I was told just today, for a thousandth time, that as a gay man I have to hold my head low to avoid homophobia.
Javed had parents who wouldn’t let him be any other version of himself than what they had imagined for him – no matter how unhappy it would make him, no matter that they could lose him about it. And myself, well...
Javed went through his struggles. I went through different ones. And anyone who wasn’t privileged enough went through theirs. But we all saw the same hatred and the same bigotry on the faces of people who wanted to hurt us. We all heard the same arrogance and lack of understanding in the voices of people who thought they knew better what’s best for us.
It felt like everybody could relate to some part of his story. And that everybody could find hope there.
I saw plenty of movies this year, but I don’t think any of them was anywhere near as good as this one. You should definitely see it once it’s released. I know I will.