Blinded by the Light (2019) - full transcript

In England in 1987, a teenager from an Asian family learns to live his life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of American rock star Bruce Springsteen.

September 1980.

My best friend Matt and I
have the same birthday.

He got a brand-new chopper bike.

It's really fast and looks so cool.

I got a Rubik's Cube.

But Matt gave me this diary
that he didn't want.

And I'm going to write in it every day.

The Russians have been
in Afghanistan for 363 days.

"Baggy Trousers" by Madness
is my favorite song.

I can't wait to go to London together.

Look at all the people going there.


They wanna come up
the motorway at Luton.

- Come on.
- Yeah.

Hop on.

- You're on?
- Yeah.

- Let's go.
- Whoo-hoo!

- This is brilliant, Matt!
- Whoo-hoo!

We're gonna be best friends forever!

Coronation chicken next week.

Great. Nice one. Thanks.
Yeah, I'll see you later. Javed.

There you go, Javed, son.

Goodbye, cheese and pickle.

My summer job is done!

The Cold War rages on.

Reagan and Thatcher are still number one.

But I'm stuck in Luton, one of the herd,

no fun, freedom or future.

Cause Luton is a four-letter word.

♪ When I look back upon my life ♪

♪ It's always with a sense of shame ♪

♪ I've always been the one to blame ♪

♪ For everything I long to do ♪

♪ No matter when or where or who ♪

♪ Has one thing in common too ♪

♪ It's a... It's a... It's a... ♪

♪ It's a sin ♪

♪ It's a sin ♪

♪ Everything I've ever done ♪

♪ Everything I ever do ♪

♪ Every place I've ever been ♪

♪ Everywhere I'm going to ♪

♪ It's a sin ♪



You muppet.

- How was Ibiza?
- Oh, mate, wicked.

Met Emma over there.
She's from St. Albans.

- Works in HMV.
- All right?

All right?

I just finished work.

I'm writing you a new song for your band.

- It's about the Cold War.
- Javed writes all the time.

You know? Like, diaries, poems.

He even wrote one about Bo Derek once.

And he sent it to her.

And I wrote some of your best essays, too.


Pet Shop Boys got
the best number one this year so far.

I told you, mate. Listen.

Synths are the future.


happy birthday, mate.

Got it at the airport. You know?

It's a fertility symbol
from the Balearics.


You know, I thought it might, er...

help you pick up a bird one day, maybe.

- He's never had a girlfriend before, so...
- Hey?

Is that against your religion?


Thanks, Matt.

- I'll see you later, mate.
- See you later.

He's missing out.

What are they doing?

Oh, my God!

How can you be friends with that boy?

No shame at all.

I didn't move out of Bury Park
to see this.

You should tell him this is very bad.

Very bad behavior
in a good neighborhood.

Dad, he's English.

Your sister's coming.

Get the shopping out of the car.

Matt's back, then?

He's torturing me with his perfect life.

Go on, my son!

All right, J?

I taught him all he knows.
All the moves.

Very nice to meet you, Princess Emma.

There you go, sweetheart...
19 pounds... 50 pence.

I'll drop another 30 dresses
off to you tomorrow morning.

Oh! Lucky you,
having such a helpful family.

Look at this! Oh!

My kids treat my place like a hotel.

I'll tell you something,

you've done something right,
turning kids out like that.

- Ta, sweetheart.
- Goodbye.


September 3rd, 1987.

My dad is stuck in another century.

He treats me like I'm six, not sixteen.

Javed, beta, come!

We're ready for your party.

Oh. He's coming.

Happy birthday.

Time to smarten up. You're not a kid
anymore, Javed.

Thanks... girls.

Not girls. Sisters.

Come on. Let's light the candle.

Yasmeen, photo.

Say cheese.

Make a wish, beta.

Make loads of money, kiss a girl,
get out of this dump.

You were supposed to be
writing a pop song.

Who writes songs about nuclear war
and Thatcher, anyway?

You write about depressing things.

Like, you haven't got any money,
or you can't watch Rocky on telly.

That's not true. I write
about politics and Reaganomics...

Oh, Javed. Javed, Javed.

You spent four years, mate,
going on about your bloody dad

who wouldn't let you have
an Acorn Electron with a 32-kilobyte RAM.

It also had a 32-kilobyte ROM.

Yeah, well, I can't really sing
about you and your dad.

Can I?

Is he making you do A Levels as well?

No. I'm doing it for me.

I want to go to college.

Getting good A Levels

will get me into university.

That's my only ticket out of here, mate.

It's 4:00 a.m. in New York,
4:00 p.m. in Tokyo

and 9:00 a.m. right here in Luton.

You're listening to Radio Luton,

the official radio station
for Luton Sixth Form College.

I'm Colin Hand,
the hand that rocks the turntable,

with the first lesson of a new year
and the subject, "Lessons in Love."

♪ I'm not proud, I was wrong
And the truth... ♪

First day.

Start at the top and stay there.

Study hard, so you don't have to work
in a factory like me all your life.

Yes, Dad.

If you want to succeed,
look for the Jews in your class.

Do what the Jews do.
They're very successful people.

I think that's a bit racist, Dad.

It's the truth.

Oh, hi!

Hey. You're here to study, OK?

I'll find you a wife in good time.
You leave that to me.

And remember...

stay away from the girls!

- Follow the Jews!
- Er? What?

What was that?

♪ Lessons in love ♪

♪ When will you ever learn? ♪

♪ Lessons in love ♪

♪ When there's nowhere left to turn ♪

♪ All the dreams that we were building ♪

♪ We never lived them ♪

♪ We could lose it ♪

♪ We should use it ♪

♪ Lessons in... ♪

I'm really sorry. Did I break it?

- Who's that?
- The Boss.

- Whose boss?
- The boss of us all.

I'm really late. I missed the bus.

I wasn't sure
about the route either.

Right. Everyone in?

My name is Miss Clay,

and I want to know why you're here.


To pass me exams, miss.

Well, thanks to Maggie Thatcher,

even if you do pass your exams
and get a degree,

there'll be few jobs waiting for you.

So, what I want to make this class about

is figuring out where you stand.

What you think.

The writers that we'll be studying
this year are immortal.

Their themes are universal.
Shakespeare, Dickens, Woolf.

Who here... wants to live forever,

like them?

Who here wants to be a writer?

Miss Clay?

- Yes... erm...?
- Er, Eliza.

Isn't the job of a writer to...
make a difference?

- You know, to change the world?
- Yes. Yes, that's a start.

The writers I admire make a difference.

They tell the world
something that it needs to hear.

What's your name again?


Javed, you put your hand up earlier,
and then you put it down.


Miss Clay...

I've been writing poems and a diary
since I was about ten.

But it's really not that interesting.

Then why do you do it?

I don't know.

To put down my thoughts, I guess.

You see, in my house,
no one's allowed opinions except my dad.

- What would you like, love?
- Chips and beans, please.

- There you go, love.
- Thank you.

♪ Oh, I just died in your arms tonight ♪

♪ It must have been something you said ♪

♪ I just died in your arms tonight ♪

This place is bad.

It's the United Nations of kicking tribes.

You've got goths, a Salt-N-Pepa crew,

there's Wham! boys,

Bananarama girls and...

and there's Eliza.

Smart, sassy...

and a politico fighting
to free Nelson Mandela.

And then there's me. I don't have a tribe.


Bilal No-Mates.

All right?

What are you writing?


An essay? Already?

- Are you a swot or something?
- No.

Just a diary.

So... tell me about the Boss.

Bruce is the direct line
to all that's true in this shitty world.

- Seriously?
- Mm.

What does he know about our world?

Guard these with your life, yeah?

You can thank me later.

A boy spat at me today...

after he wrote his filth on the wall.

This time, I tried not to run.

This time, I tried to stand tall

and say,
"I'm not scared, you stupid clown."

You're not better than me.
This is also my hometown."

Stand up to him. Why do you run?

Face the pathetic NF scum.

You're better than this.

- Where's Matt?
- He's a bit... busy.


Why are you answering the door
just wearing that?

- You all right, mate?
- Yeah.

Uh... Got my lyrics, then?

That's what I came round to say.
I'm working on it.

Ah. You still coming to my party tonight?

- Yeah, of course.
- Good.

Emma's mates are coming,

and I know one
who would be perfect for you.

- She's not fussy.
- Really?

- Yeah.
- Cheers.

I promise this time I'll come.

How many times I have to tell you?

Pakistanis do not go to parties.

I thought I was British.

You do not know this country
like I do, huh?

Do you remember Enoch Powell?

They will never accept you, beta.

Matt accepts me.

Listen to me. You're very lucky.

You will always be Pakistani.

You will never be British.

♪ Pump up the volume, pump up the volume ♪

♪ Pump up the volume, dance, dance ♪

- Whoo!
- Cheers!

Scott. Scott!

- OK, wait.
- Again?

Wait for your mother.

After three. One, two, three, push!

OK, everyone to the back now!

Push the car!

OK, one, two, three, push!

Let's go!

Come on, come on, get in!
Let's go!

Great neighborhood, Mr. Shah.

We are the first Pakistanis
on this street.

Remember when we came in the '70s?

- Luton was a good town then.
- Ah.

Today, there are too many Pakistanis.

I need your help again
for a new mortgage application.

This is next door?

It's for my eldest.
He's getting married soon.

Oh! Congratulations. Mubarak, Mr. Shah!

He doesn't know it yet.

But he's a good boy. He does what I say.

Ah. Did you hear that?

Dear, get samosa for Mr. Malik

and for Javed... Well done.

- Let's do the Paki house.
- Thank you, ji.

- Eh! What are you doing?
- He's doing a wee-wee.

Aim it down on the carpet.

- Hooligan boy.
- It's a wee-wee delivery.

Pissing on the Pakis!

- What is happening here?
- Wee-wee, all on my carpet.

Clean it quickly, come on. Quickly.

- Please.
- Just the young kids are just playing.

Smelly, smelly Pakis!

It's OK.
That's why we have this plastic here.

I cleaned your floor for you.

Don't let the wee
go on the carpet.



Not what you expected?

This is your third essay for me.

- I'm beginning to understand you and...
- I write poems too, Miss.

That's why I thought
I understood the assignment.

That brief section about
the Indian soldiers missing home

and cooking their own food
in the trenches,

that was amazing.

That was your voice.

I wanted more.

Tell me about your poems.

They're crap, Miss.

Yeah, but they're your crap.

And if you keep at it,
one day you might think they're not crap.

I want to write for the paper.

We're not really looking
for new writers at the moment.

I like to write, and I want to learn.

I could show you some of my work.

I'd rather you didn't.

- I could show you some of my poems.
- I... really don't wanna read them.

Beti, I'm so happy.
They have found a boy.

- And he's definitely not a taxi driver?
- No, beti. He's a graduate.

- MA from the University of Rawalpindi.
- I want to ask more overtime...

Vauxhall Motors are cutting
a thousand jobs.

They're trying to reduce
their operating costs by a quarter.

Staff will be cut at their factories
in Luton and Ellesmere Port.

The company says an early retirement
scheme for workers over 55

should bring the present workforce
of 12,500

down by the required amount,

but the unions say they believe
more redundancies may be necessary.

Vauxhall, General Motors' existing
car-making subsidiary in this country...

What are they saying?

Vauxhall's laying off half the workforce.
Dad's job.

No, beta. He's been there for 16 years.

Double shift, night shift,
whatever they wanted.

Of more than 50 adults,
just four have jobs.

The average period of unemployment
is nine years.

Vauxhall dumped Dad
like an old, disused engine.

Tell me.

Dear General Motors,
Let me speak from the heart.

You took my dad's job
And you tore my family apart.

I'll have to stop studying
And Mum will need to work faster.

My life now is a total disaster.

I want to escape this depressing town.

Is that such a crime?

How useless am I, sitting here,
Trying to make words rhyme?

Earlier on today, apparently
a woman rang the BBC and said

she heard that there was
a hurricane on the way.

Well, if you're watching,
don't worry, there isn't.

But having said that, actually
the weather will become very windy.

You OK, J?

What's gonna happen to us?

- Javed?
- I don't know

but writing crap poems
doesn't help anyone.

- Don't say that.
- You and me, Shazia,

we were born at the wrong time,
in the wrong town,

in the wrong town, in the wrong family.

♪ I get up in the evening ♪

♪ And I ain't got nothing to say ♪

♪ I come home in the morning ♪

♪ I go to bed feeling the same way ♪

♪ I ain't nothing but tired ♪

♪ Man, I'm just tired and bored
With myself ♪

♪ Hey there, baby ♪

♪ I could use just a little help ♪

♪ You can't start a fire... ♪

♪ Messages keep getting clearer ♪

♪ Radio's on
And I'm moving round my place ♪

♪ I check my look in the mirror ♪

♪ Wanna change my clothes
My hair, my face ♪

♪ Man, I ain't getting nowhere ♪

♪ I'm just living in a dump like this ♪

♪ There's something happening somewhere ♪

♪ Baby, I just know that there is ♪

♪ You can't start a fire ♪

♪ You can't start a fire without a spark ♪

♪ This gun's for hire ♪

♪ Even if we're just dancing
In the dark... ♪

Hey! Have you gone mental?

Close the bloody window!

The whole house is freezing now.

You should be listening to our music

before you start getting confused
and hating yourself.

♪ You sit around getting older ♪

♪ There's a joke here somewhere
And it's on me ♪

♪ I'll shake this world off my shoulders ♪

♪ Come on, baby, the laugh's on me ♪

♪ Stay on the streets of this town ♪

♪ And they'll be carving you up alright ♪

♪ They say you gotta stay hungry ♪

♪ Hey, baby,
I'm just about starving tonight ♪

♪ I'm dying for some action ♪

♪ I'm sick of sitting round here
Trying to write this book ♪

♪ I need... ♪

♪ I've done my best
To live the right way ♪

♪ I get up every morning
And go to work each day ♪

♪ But your eyes go blind
And your blood runs cold ♪

♪ Sometimes I feel so weak
I just wanna explode ♪

♪ Explode and tear this whole town apart ♪

♪ Take a knife
And cut this pain from my heart ♪

♪ Find somebody itching
For something to start ♪

♪ The dogs on Main Street howl ♪

♪ Cause they understand ♪

♪ If I could wrench one moment
Into my hands ♪

♪ Mister, I ain't a boy ♪

♪ No, I'm a man ♪

♪ And I believe in a Promised Land ♪

♪ Well, there's a dark cloud rising
From the desert floor ♪

♪ I packed my bags and I'm heading
Straight into the storm ♪

♪ Gonna be a twister
To blow everything down ♪

♪ That ain't got the faith
To stand its ground ♪

♪ Blow away the dreams
That tear you apart ♪

♪ Blow away the dreams
That break your heart ♪

♪ Blow away the lies ♪

♪ That leave you nothing
But lost and brokenhearted ♪

♪ The dogs on Main Street howl ♪

♪ Cause they understand ♪

♪ If I could wrench
One moment into my hands ♪

♪ Mister, I ain't a boy ♪

♪ No, I'm a man ♪

♪ And I believe in a Promised Land ♪

"If I could take one moment into my hands

Mister, I ain't a boy

No, I'm a man

And I believe in a Promised Land!"

My poems.

Did you fish them out of a bin?

I did throw them away last night.

But then I changed my mind.

They're not brilliant, but they're mine.

Roops! Roops!
I listened to everything.

Both tapes.

I'm telling you,
I could feel it all right here.

It's like Bruce knows
everything I've ever felt,

everything I've ever wanted.

I mean, "Sometimes I feel so weak,
I just wanna explode.

Explode and tear this whole town apart.

Take a knife and cut this pain
from my heart."

I didn't know music could be like that.

I mean, "Is a dream
a lie if it don't come true?

Or is it something worse?"

You've popped your Bruce cherry.

You never forget your first time.

I wrote something.

Did I ask you to write something?

I had to write it. It's about music.

A record review.

Sort of. Can you read it?

"It's a town full of losers
and I'm pulling out of here to win."

"Thunder Road... Springsteen."

No one listens to Springsteen anymore.
He's history.

Can you just read it? Please.

♪ One soft infested summer
Me and Terry became friends ♪

♪ Trying in vain to breathe the fire
We was born in ♪

♪ Catching rides to the outskirts
Tying faith between our teeth ♪

♪ Sleeping in that old
Abandoned beach house ♪

♪ Getting wasted in the heat... ♪


I'm really disappointed in you.

You hated my poems...

I hated that you threw them away
before anyone ever read them.

- You read them?
- Every one of them.

Even "Luton Is A Four-Letter Word"?


And I can think of several more
four-letter words for Luton too.

But the point is they're raw,
they're distinctive.

You have a responsibility
to make this invisible,

this absent voice, heard.

But you're my teacher, Miss.

Do you really think anyone else
would be interested?

- I'm interested.
- See?

Stop doubting. Keep writing.

My dad doesn't even know
I'm doing English.

He thinks I'm doing economics.

This is about what you want.

You have a gift, Javed.

You could be a writer
if you put the work in.

Really? Me?

Bruce Springsteen is not
some romantic, faraway figure

who sings about romantic, faraway things.

He's a local boy,
and the things he deals in

are things they recognize only too well.

Well, he's one of us, you know.

He's part of New Jersey.

We call him the Boss,
and he is the Boss.

There was an exuberance, let's say,
about something like "Born to Run."

The songwriting seems
to have become more concerned

with rather bleak matters.

Lately, I guess, mainly I've just tried
to scale it down to what I feel.

Life sizes, you know.

My sister, she got married
when she was really young.

My brother-in-law
was a construction worker,

and then they stopped building buildings,

you know, when we had the recession.

They just went
through a lot of real hard times.

You know, they had a couple of kids.
You know, that was hard to do.

And I guess if I had any heroes now,
they'd be like, you know, like them, or...

You know,
people who keep the world... turning.

This is for my brother-in-law
and my sister.

♪ I come from down in the valley ♪

♪ Where, mister, when you're young ♪

♪ They bring you up to do ♪

♪ Like your daddy done ♪

♪ Me and Mary, we met in high school ♪

♪ When she was just 17 ♪

♪ We'd drive out of this valley ♪

♪ Down to where the fields were green ♪

♪ We'd go down to the river ♪

♪ And into the river we'd dive ♪

♪ Oh, down to the river... ♪

- Who was that on TV?
- No one.

- It's Bruce Springsteen.
- Springsteen? Jewish?

Jewish? No. He's American.

Have you done that letter for Mr. Shah?

- I will.
- Mm.

Hi. Can I help you?

If you've come to complain
about my wife's sewing machine,

you have to appreciate
that we have taken on extra work

to make ends meet.

I came about this.

"Don't be Dumb

NF Scum...

by Javed Khan"?

Mr. Evans... writing is my son's hobby.

He didn't mean to offend you.
I'm sure of that.

Javed, say sorry.

Forty-eight years ago,

I marched into war with my friends
to fight men in swastikas.

Today, I see swastikas on young men
on the streets of Luton.

That was a very brave poem, young man.

You must write more
and get your message out.

NF scum indeed.

Wow. He liked my poem.

Why are you writing rubbish?

Excuse me. Did you read it?

- I did.
- And?

It wasn't really a review, was it?

It was more like a thousand words
of closely argued adulation.

I know I can do better.

Set them out nicely.

- You're a Muslim, aren't you?
- Yeah.

A Pakistani into Springsteen?
Now, that's got potential.

Sharpen the opening and I'll run it.


Thirteen bundles. That's 130.

Um, 50 pence a pop. I owe you... 65 quid.

Lovely. Same again for next week?

My wife wants 20 bundles.

Well, I mean, that's... that's
more than double what she did last week.

Twenty is too much.

Yasmeen, Javed, help her.


We can do 20 bundles.

Yasmeen can help.
The children can help. I can help.

Yasmeen works!
Javed and Shazia have studies.

I have been working till twelve, one
in the morning. It's too much.

Electricity bill. Telephone bill.
Rates. Gas bill.

Yasmeen is getting married.
Shazia will be next.

We need the money.

What about all the work you do
helping people at the masjid?

Why don't you ask them to pay you?

I cannot do that.

You spend time
looking at houses you can't buy,

sort out your friends' mortgages.

And what do you get out of that?

What will people say, huh,

if they thought
I was doing it for the money?


So... what are we doing?

- Hm.
- Right, 20 it is.

OK, I'll go and get another seven, yeah?


You are my only son.

I need you to do more.

But, Dad, there's no jobs out there.

We have to try, beta.

My dream was to come here
and work hard for my family.

We can't give up now.

I'm sorry, boss. I'm sorry.
It's not gonna happen again.

Don't do it again.

- Have you got any jobs?
- Javed, son,

no weekend work, no part-time, nothing.

♪ Well, lights out tonight ♪

♪ Trouble in the heartland ♪

♪ Got a head-on collision
Smashin' in my guts, man ♪

♪ I'm caught in a crossfire ♪

♪ That I don't understand ♪

♪ But there's one thing
I know for sure, girl ♪

♪ I don't give a damn ♪

♪ For the same old played out scenes ♪

♪ Baby, I don't give a damn
For just the in-betweens ♪

♪ Honey, I want the heart
I want the soul ♪

♪ I want control right now ♪

♪ You better listen to me, baby ♪

♪ Talk about a dream
Try to make it real ♪

♪ You wake up in the night
With a fear so real ♪

♪ You spend your life waiting ♪

♪ For a moment that just don't come ♪

♪ Well, don't waste your time waiting ♪

♪ Badlands, you gotta live it every day ♪

♪ Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay ♪

♪ We'll keep movin' till it's understood ♪

♪ And these badlands
Start treating us good... ♪

- Sorry.
- Yeah.

You got yourself
a girlfriend yet?

- What are you doing with those?
- Help yourself.

You should try telesales.
You could be anyone on the phone.

They don't know
if you're Tom, Dick or Ali.

I'll try anything.
My dad really needs cash.

Do you know what you want?

- Tea.
- How do you like it?

Sweet, like my girls.

Do you know what I think helped Bruce
deal with a shitty life?


- Girls were his salvation.
- Oh, yeah.

We all need that kind of salvation.

I wish I could write about girls
like Bruce does.

Listen, life ain't no Springsteen song.

If we end up with a girl
with less facial hair than Chewbacca,

we'll have done well, yeah?

Hey, er... I got you this.

Go on. Move.

There's loads of seats free.

Well, this is our table now.

Or do we need to move you, Pakis?

Get up.

Come on.

Off you go. Quickly.

- Good boy.
- Thank you very much. Move.

Oi, oi, oi. Nah, nah, nah.
Move over there, mate.

I can still bloody smell you
from here, all right?

Go on, move. Quickly. Thank you.

We should have said something.

We can't just take it.

Where's the tape?

- I don't care if I told you it before.
- No, you carry on, mate.

What are you doing, mate?

Is this a... Is this a special Paki film?


Is this the number one Paki film?

Give it back.

Bruce Springsteen? Eh?
He doesn't sound like a Paki, does he?

- Oi.
- For the ones who had a notion

A notion deep inside

That it ain't no sin
To be glad you're alive

I wanna find one face
That ain't looking through me

I wanna find one place
I wanna spit in the face of these

♪ Badlands, you gotta live it every day ♪

♪ Let the broken hearts stand
Letting him spit in my face? ♪

♪ As the price you gotta pay ♪

♪ Keep moving till it's understood ♪

♪ And these badlands
Start treating us good ♪

♪ Badlands... ♪

I mean, it's got the elegance
of Lady Diana

and the earthy sensuality of Tina Turner.
And of course, there's not many women...

I've been door to door
to every store in the Arndale.

Do you reckon your dad
could give me a job?

- Not dropping out, are you?
- No way.

But my dad's been laid off.

Dad, J's been looking for a Saturday job.
Can you help him out?

I'm sorry, J. Business is down.

I'll do anything.

Lug boxes around,
put up the stall, clear it up.

I'm really desperate.

All right, start Saturday,
but I'm not paying you a lot. Eh?

Now, what you got there?

This guy is incredible.

You've never heard lyrics like his.

Is that Billy Joel?

Billy Joel? You plonker. That is Bruce.

God, you try and raise your kids right, J.

I was there, son.

1981, Wembley Arena.
Row T. The River Tour.

Don't go writing me songs like him, J.
He's too...

- Old school?
- No, American.

Listen, I can't be dealing with all that

you know,
"Born in the USA," stars and stripes shit.

Surprised you're into it, mate.

Actually, that song's
about the desperate plight

of Vietnam veterans who were treated
really badly when they came home.

You tell him, son.

♪ We'd go down to the river...
Yeah? ♪

♪ And into the river we'd dive ♪

♪ Whoa, down to the river we'd ride ♪

- Got you.
- See you later.

Saturday, mate.

♪ The times are tough now
Just getting tougher ♪

♪ This whole world is rough ♪

- ♪ It's just getting rougher ♪
- Come on, mate. What you doing?

♪ Come on, baby, cover me ♪

You cannot be serious, mate.

You can't sell clothes on the stall
dressed like that.

Dressed like him.


♪ Now promise me, baby
You won't let them find us ♪

♪ Hold me in your arms
Let's let our love blind us ♪

- ♪ Cover me... ♪
- Hey, what's that?

- University prospectus.
- Well, yeah, but it's in Manchester.

It's got a brilliant English
and creative writing course.

I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna be a writer.

But your dad, he won't even
let you cross the road

to come to mine for a party.

You know Manchester's
200 fricking miles away, don't you?

"Someday, man, I don't know when

We're gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go

We'll walk in the sun

But till then, tramps like us...

Baby, we were born to run."

Did you write that?

I've told you before,
your lyrics are rubbish, mate.

That didn't even rhyme.

- Do you want a Red Wedge?
- Fantastic.

We've got a gig on Friday.


Right, hold on to that for a minute, J.

- Can I give you a leaflet, please?
- J.

Free Nelson Mandela.

Javed. Wake up, mate.

Right, important.

As soon as you've hung it,
make sure there's no creases,

and just hang it nice so people
can walk up to it and just have a go.

Oh, look at that. The quality.
Look at how beautiful that is.

Would you like a leaflet?
We've got a Red Wedge gig on Friday.

♪ The screen door slams ♪

♪ Mary's dress waves ♪

Red Wedge! Red Wedge!

♪ Like a vision
She dances across the porch ♪

♪ As the radio plays... ♪


♪ Roy Orbison singing for the lonely ♪

♪ Hey, that's me and I want you only ♪

♪ Don't turn me home again ♪

- ♪ I just can't face myself... ♪
- Javed.

♪ Alone again ♪

♪ Don't run back inside, darling
You know just what I'm here for ♪

♪ So you're scared
And you're thinking that maybe ♪

♪ We ain't that young anymore ♪

♪ Show a little faith
There's magic in the night ♪

♪ You ain't a beauty
But, hey, you're all right ♪

♪ Oh, and that's all right with me ♪

♪ You can hide 'neath your covers
And study your pain ♪

♪ Make crosses from your lovers ♪

♪ Throw roses in the rain ♪

♪ Waste your summer praying in vain ♪

♪ For a savior to rise
From these streets ♪

♪ Well, now, I'm no hero
That's understood ♪

♪ All the redemption I can offer, girl
Is beneath this dirty hood ♪

♪ With a chance to make it good somehow ♪

♪ Hey, what else can we do now? ♪

♪ Except roll down the window ♪

♪ And let the wind blow back your hair ♪

♪ Well, the night's busting open
These two lanes will take us anywhere ♪

♪ We got one last chance to make it real ♪

♪ To trade in these wings on some wheels ♪

♪ Climb in back
Heaven's waiting down on the tracks... ♪

♪ Oh-oh, come take my hand ♪

♪ We're riding out tonight
To case the Promised Land ♪

♪ Oh, Thunder Road
Oh, Thunder Road ♪

♪ It's lying out there
Like a killer in the sun ♪

♪ Hey, I know it's late
But we can make it if we run ♪

♪ Oh, Thunder Road
Sit tight ♪

♪ Take hold ♪

- ♪ Thunder Road... ♪
- Whoo!

That's what you call real music,

not the sort of shite
my son sits listening to in his room.

Now, look, you're a clever boy.
Educate him.

He's beyond help.
He thinks synths are the future.

He's a handsome boy,
but he's not happy. Look at him.

Oh, here we go.
Look, son, don't get the hump

just because
your mate's got taste in music.

Thanks for standing up for me, mate.

Here, J, leave him.

We got customers to serve. Come on.

Now, then, ladies...


Go away, Javed.
You've really pissed me off.

♪ Well, they're still racing
Out at the Trestles... ♪

What is this nonsense?

What kind of economics is this?

It's about the music business.

Why do you have to listen
to music while studying?

It's no good.

Have you forgotten
why I want you to get an education?

To broaden my mind, learn about the world,

be inspired to make a difference?


To get a good job,

so you don't end up driving a taxi
like every other Pakistani in this town.

Ever since you've been following
this American Jewish man, you've changed.

- He's not Jewish.
- He's not Pakistani either.

Promise me one thing.

I want you to give

all this haram nonsense up.

Do it for me.

Listen to me, beta.

I'm not your typical Pakistani father
who says you must be a doctor.

I'm saying lawyer,
accountant, estate agent.

I am giving you freedom, see?

♪ Till some day
They'll just cut it loose ♪

♪ Cut it loose or let it drag 'em down ♪

♪ Where no one asks any questions
Or looks too long in your face ♪

♪ In the darkness on the edge of town ♪

♪ In the darkness on the edge of town ♪


Look, you got your name in the paper.

They spelt my name wrong.

You could just
change your name to Jared.

Do you fancy some lunch?

I've never seen anyone
so committed.

I always see you handing out flyers.

Miss Clay was right.

It is hard getting students
interested in politics.

So, are you gonna help me with these
or what?

We don't want that witch
winning a fourth election.

If I hand those out,

will you go out with me?


But... I get to pick where we're going.

♪ Whoo! R-A-C-I-S-T ♪

♪ F-A-S-C-I-S-T... ♪

Wasn't that great?
I love a good anti-fascist gig.

How come you're so political, then?

Um... My parents, I guess.

So, what, they're activists?

Uh, no.

They are "no society" Tory traitors.

And I thought mine were bad.

Someone in our family
has to have principles.

I don't get on much with my dad either.

I don't really get on
with anyone in my family.

Except my sister, Shazia.

Well, it's good to not fit in.

If you did,
you'd never want to leave home.

I've applied to Manchester.

Cause of the Smiths?

Cause it's four hours from Luton.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to go.

My dad's on the dole,

goes to the job center
every day in his suit.

I kind of feel selfish
thinking about going off to uni

when he'll be struggling at home.

Well, you can't live your life
for your dad.

You don't know many Pakistanis, do you?

We only live for our parents.

You lot all go off and leave home.

We do the opposite.

Talking of which,
I should probably get going.


So... that's the end of our first date?

I don't wanna go.

♪ You want it, you take it,
You pay the price... ♪

"You want it, you take it,
you pay the price."

What does that mean?

Bruce Springsteen.

You do know Ronald Reagan
listens to him, right?

He's incredible.

Political, compassionate.

Just listen to the words.

♪ Everybody's got a hunger
A hunger they can't resist ♪

♪ There's so much that you want
You deserve much more than this ♪

♪ Well, if dreams came true ♪

♪ Oh, wouldn't that be nice? ♪

♪ But this ain't no dream
We're living through tonight ♪

♪ Girl, you want it, you take it,
You pay the price ♪

I like it. But what does it mean?

It means I'm staying.

♪ Baby, tie your hair back
In a long white bow ♪

♪ Meet me in the fields
Out behind the dynamo ♪

♪ You hear their voices
Telling you not to go ♪

♪ They've made their choices
And they'll never know ♪

♪ What it means to steal
To cheat, to lie ♪

♪ What it's like to live and die ♪

♪ To prove it all night
Prove it all night ♪

♪ Girl, there's nothing else
That we can do ♪

♪ So prove it all night
Prove it all night ♪

♪ And, girl
I'll prove it all night for you ♪

♪ I'll prove it all night
I'll prove it all night... ♪

In my dreams, I am holding you tight

You are all I ever wanted
Such a magical sight

I feel a buzz of electricity
From my feet to fingertips

When I try to imagine
Kissing your beautiful lips

You light up my life
Give me a reason for being born

A flash of lightning in a midnight storm

A gust of wind that lifts me off my feet

A summer ray that radiates heat

Every minute I'm with you feels divine

And makes me wish you could be mine

You kissed her.

You kissed her. Yeah!

But wait.

Is... Is she a Bruce fan?

Not yet but I'm working on it.

There are 600 people
like Eliza in this college

who know nothing about the real Bruce.

We have to do something about that.
Come on.

You want a radio show?


We have an Asian music show already, so...

We don't wanna do an Asian show.

What? Just cause we're a couple of Pakis,

you think we'd be asking
to play more Bhangra?

So, what do you want?

A show that plays only Bruce Springsteen.

Nothing but Springsteen? That's your idea?

Bruce has a lot to say
to students in this college.

How will they know there's something
better out there if they don't hear it?

Look at the calendar over there,
the Cutting Crew one.

Can you see what year it is?

It's 1987.

My job is to play music that
the students will connect to, yeah?

That means Bros. That means Curiosity.

And, yes, that even means Debbie Gibson.

But Springsteen...
he's more what your dad listens to.

Not my dad.

- Hey.
- Hey.

- All right?
- Yeah.

Kevin, move up.

- Hi.
- Hey.

I liked my poem this morning.

I couldn't sleep.

Was it another gem from Bruce?

No. It's mine.

You wrote that for me?

Javed... your article on how
Springsteen inspires you...

Too much adulation?

It was personal, passionate.

I could hear you shouting off the page.

I have a friend at the Herald.

I could contact her,

see if she might be able to find you
some work experience over there.

Right, Return Of The Native.

Eustacia Vye: victim or villain?

♪ In the day we sweat it out ♪

♪ On the streets
Of a runaway American dream ♪

What's going on?

♪ At night we ride through
The mansions of glory ♪

♪ In suicide machines ♪

♪ Sprung from cages out on Highway 9 ♪

♪ Chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected ♪

♪ And steppin' out over the line ♪

Where were you? Where were you?
Why is that playing?

♪ Oh Baby, this town rips the bones
From your back ♪

♪ It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap ♪

♪ We gotta get out while we're young... ♪

- What you doing?
- ♪ Cause tramps like us ♪

♪ Baby, we were born to run ♪

Get out of here! Go on! Get off my pitch!

Calm down. Calm down.

♪ Wendy, let me in,
I wanna be your friend ♪

♪ I wanna guard your dreams and visions ♪

♪ Just wrap your legs
Round these velvet rims ♪

♪ And strap your hands 'cross my engines ♪

♪ Together we could break this trap
We'll run till we drop ♪

♪ Baby, we'll never go back ♪

♪ Oh-oh
Will you walk with me out on the wire? ♪

♪ Cause, baby
I'm just a scared and lonely rider ♪

♪ But I gotta know how it feels ♪

♪ I wanna know if love is wild ♪

♪ Babe, I wanna know if love is real ♪

♪ Oh, can you show me? ♪

♪ Beyond the Palace ♪

♪ Hemi-powered drones
Scream down the boulevard ♪

Hey! Move aside!

♪ And the boys try to look so hard ♪

♪ The amusement park rises bold
And stark ♪

♪ Kids are huddled on the beach
In a mist ♪

♪ I wanna die with you, Wendy,
On the street tonight ♪

♪ In an everlasting kiss ♪

I'll tell your mother!

One, two, three, four!

♪ The highway's jammed
With broken heroes ♪

♪ On a last-chance power drive ♪

♪ Everybody's out on the run tonight ♪

♪ But there's no place left to hide ♪

♪ Together, Wendy
We can live with the sadness ♪

♪ I'll love you
With all the madness in my soul ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Someday, girl, I don't know when ♪

♪ We're gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go ♪

♪ And we'll walk in the sun ♪

♪ But till then tramps like us ♪

♪ Baby, we were born to run ♪

♪ Oh, honey, tramps like us ♪

♪ Baby, we were born to run ♪

Get away from here. Go home

♪ Tramps like us ♪

♪ Baby, we were born to run ♪

♪ Oh, oh-oh-oh ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh ♪

♪ Oh, ah-oh, oh-oh-oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh ♪

Tensions are running high
in Bury Park

where a pig's head was found
hanging from the minaret here

at Luton Mosque.

Witnesses say two men were seen
climbing up the minaret this morning

to place the pig's head
before morning prayer.

- Understandably,
- I should go.

- the community are up in arms
- Sorry.

and the police are doing
all they can to support them

in light of this shocking event.

This incident comes the same day
as the extreme right National Front

has announced their plan for a march
through the streets of Luton.

No date for the march
has been confirmed yet,

but all police leave has been cancelled.

Well, I hope we're all hungry.

I had hoped Eliza might change for dinner
but can't have it all.

- Mum, stop fussing.
- Right... Ah.

- Garlic bread.
- Oh, lovely.

- Here we all are.
- Good.


So where shall we sit, darling?

Um, well, why don't I go at the head here?

- And, Francis, you go there.
- I'll pop here.

Yes, that's it.
And then you go either side.

Sit yourself down.
I'll just place the garlic bread...

- On the table.

- Lovely.
- Oh, it is so lovely to meet you.

Eliza's very picky on who she brings home.

Yes, she picks the boys

she thinks we're going to find
the most shocking.


It's very personal for our Eliza.
Isn't it, Princess?

The only thing shocking,
Dad, is your bigotry

towards anybody who isn't white,
middle-class and true blue.

You'll have to forgive Eliza.

Sometimes I'm not sure
how we raised such a firebrand.

Do you remember the one
with the eyeliner and the daisies?

He so wanted to be Morrissey.

Then there was the colored fellow
with the dreadlocks.

- No one says "colored" anymore, Dad.
- No?

With Eliza,
it's the more provocative the better.

Well, what's provocative about Javed?


Javed doesn't drink. He's a Muslim.

It's against their religion, Dad.

Well, have a little bit, see how you go.

We won't tell anyone if you don't.


You broke into the college radio station,

and you played a record of your choice.

We're very sorry, Miss.

You see my problem, don't you?

Please don't expel us. I need my A levels.

Yeah... Yeah, we're very sorry, Miss.

So, what I'm going to do...

You will promise...
promise, never to do it again,

and that, I hope, will be the end of that.

Is that it?

They vandalized my studio!
They scratched my Tiffany record!

Oh, please, Colin. Tiffany?

Even I know Tiffany's not all that.

Judith Anderson's mobile telephone.

OK. Right, run along. Yes, hello.

This is my mobile telephone.
Could you call on the office line?

It just turns out
this is just much too expensive.


♪ Oh, protector ♪

♪ Of the world ♪

♪ Please listen to
my painful lamentations ♪

♪ Please listen to
my painful lamentations ♪

♪ The rain have turned into fire ♪

♪ And the flowers into embers ♪

♪ The beautiful night has turned
into snake ♪

♪ And the stars into stone ♪

♪ I have lost all the support ♪

♪ Take this life away from me ♪

♪ O provider of my life ♪

♪ Oh, protector of the world ♪

I'm sorry, mate.
I ain't got no change.

I've been offered a job at the Herald
for the holidays.

How much will they pay you?

They won't. It's work experience.

They want you to work for no money?

The deputy editor thinks I can write.
It's a great opportunity.

How is it a great opportunity

when they're making you work
and not giving you any money?

Dad, I want to be a writer.

- Writing isn't a job.
- It can be.

Name me one Pakistani writer. Just one.

Writing is for English people...
with rich parents.

But this is the chance
to do something I really want to do.

"I"? What is this "I"?

Everyone else is making money...

Mum, Yasmeen, Shazia.
The only one who isn't is you.

I don't wanna go and be an estate agent

when I've got the chance
to do something I really want to do.

- Get out.
- What?

You will not talk to your father
like this. Get out.

The biggest mistake I made
was coming to this country.

I didn't ask you to come here!

- There we go.
- Nice one. Cheers, boys.

- Come on, then.
- All right.

I'll see you later.

You, mate,
need to start practicing, seriously.

- Because we're all putting the work in.
- Matt.

- Hey!
- I was good. Come on.

- Matt.
- Listen, seriously...

That was all right, innit?

What time you's coming round

- Matt!
- All right. See you there, man.

Yeah, mate, nice one.

Just had band practice?

Look... I'm sorry.

I didn't mean to upset you.
Can we just forget it and move on?

Let's forget

who stood up for you at school
when you were called a dirty Paki.

Let's forget who's been trying
their hardest to get you a girl,

get you a life.

And now you think you're it
with this college

and your Bruce philosophies on life.

You think you can shit all over me.

Well, if you strip that away,
you're still sad Javed,

whose dad picks on him
just like mine does on me.

See you later, boys.

- Right, see you later, Matt.
- Take care, mate.

Get in.

I suppose you heard that?

All I'm trying to do
is stand up for myself,

stop doing what others want
and do what I want for a change.

Good friends deserve to be listened to.

I'm sorry.

You're right. I have been up myself.

Your music is just as great
cause it speaks to you and...

- You're a wanker.
- I know.


About the finding me a girl bit...

At least you don't have to help me
with that.


You got a girlfriend?

And you didn't even bloody tell me!

You jammy little sod.

Well, at least I can finally expect
some decent bloody lyrics from you.

♪ Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack ♪

♪ I went out for a ride
And I never went back ♪

♪ Like a river
That don't know where it's flowing... ♪

Everyone's out.

So it's just you and me.

And Bruce.

♪ Everybody's got a hungry heart ♪

♪ Lay down your money
And you play your part ♪

♪ Everybody's got a hu... hu...
Hungry heart ♪

♪ Whoa-oh ♪

- Shazia.
- Um...

I... I forgot my textbook and...

♪ We took what we had
And we ripped it apart ♪

You owe me.

♪ Everybody's got a hungry heart ♪

♪ Everybody's got a hungry heart ♪

- Can I ask you something?
- What?

Are you doing this to shock your parents?

You honestly think I'm thinking
about my parents right now?

Cause I just want you to know
that I'm absolutely fine with that.

♪ For you, my love ♪

♪ For you I love ♪

♪ Brave through the hurricane ♪

♪ Only for you ♪

♪ For you I'd give up everything ♪

♪ For you I'd give ♪

♪ For you, my love ♪

Do you know what time it is, mate?

Here's your lyrics.

You should thank my girlfriend.

You little devil.

Get in here. Get in, come in.
I wanna know all the details.

I can't. I've promised
to take my sister to a gig.


At eight in the morning?

This is a really big favor, Shazia.

I know, but she's worth it, right?

She's really pretty too.

Anyway, are you sure
these lot's parents don't know

they've bunked off school
to hit a nightclub at ten in the morning?

Are you sure you're even Asian?

I can't believe you've never heard
of a daytimer before.

Jesus, Shazia!

You look like a Pakistani Madonna!

Thank God Mum and Dad can't see you.

That's what's so perfect about daytimers.

We get to be us. Come on.

♪ Come on, party people ♪

♪ They can't hurt you now ♪

♪ They can't hurt you now ♪

♪ Because the night belongs to lovers ♪

♪ Because the night belongs to lovers ♪

♪ Because the night belongs to lovers ♪

♪ Because the night belongs to us ♪

♪ Have I doubt when I'm alone ♪

♪ Love is a ring, telephone ♪

♪ Love is an angel disguised as lust ♪

♪ Here in our bed till the morning comes ♪

Big round of applause. And for the Asian
Michael Jackson, Johnny Zee.

Now, I've got a fresh cut coming
in straight off the press in Southall.

They've got the best hair in the West.
It's Heera!

Come along. Keep moving.

Yeah, thanks for coming.
Yeah. Keep moving.

Can I have an NME, please?

- There you go.
- Thanks.

Thank you.

Hello, young lady,
how can I help you?

Can I have a Kit Kat, please?

That's 20 pence, please.


We're so even now.

What's his name?

- Kaleem.
- How long have you known him?

Fifteen months.

Fifteen months?

He goes to the boys' school down the road.

Shazia, you are good.
I didn't even know you could dance!

It's the only time I can forget life.

When I'm dancing, I block out the world.

I know what you mean.

And this is what you do
in your own crazy gora rock world.

He's coming.

Bruce. Wembley Stadium.
Oh my God! Oh my God!

You know, unless Bruce does a daytimer,

you know there's no way
you're going, don't you?

I am going. I have to.

Hi. It's Javed, right?

Yes. You want tea?

You're Muslim, right?

Yeah. I can still stay, right?

Can you speak Urdu?

- I'm not fluent.
- That's more than me.

Come on.
Got a story to cover at the mosque.

- And no one's gonna talk to me.
- The mosque?

People are calling for it
to be closed down.

You can help get your lot's version over.

If you're lucky,
you might get your first by-line.


This is making you look like a young man.

Am I looking like
the handsome man you married?

Don't talk like that.

Sit still.
I have to get back to my sewing.

Why cry?

This is a happy time now.

What happy?

I have failed you and Yasmeen.

I cannot even pay for the wedding.

You have to slave on that sewing machine

morning till night.

What happened?

It wasn't meant to be like this.

Chup, be quiet.

You are the head of this family.

No one cares for us like you do,

and no one has been
a better father to Yasmeen.

We will have the best wedding party.

You'll see.


- Let me show you.
- Please get away.

- Don't scratch the car.
- Be careful.

Don't scratch the car.

Shaz. Shaz, I need your help.

- Bruce tickets go on sale today.
- What, now?

I'll come back quickly.
It's only down the road.

I'll meet you at the venue.
If I don't go now, they might sell out.

OK, fine. I'll cover for you.

Where did you get the money, anyway?

Dad takes all the wages.

The Herald paid me for my article,
but I never told Dad.

Oh, God, Shazia,
you're making me feel bad.

Look! Look at the beautiful bride.

That's what a bride
should look like.

- Princess of Bury Park!
- You should go.

You might never
get to see Bruce again. Go.

Go and sit down in your car, ladies.

Come on, everyone, quickly, in your cars.

We are going to a wedding there, Officer!

- You'll have to wait, sir.
- What's going on?

We need to get to the community center.
My daughter is getting married.

If they're black,
send them back!

Just move back
and to the side there for me, please.

Move over, please.

- Beti.
- Mum.

- Stay here.
- Move over to the side.

We have to get to the community center.

If they're black, send them back!

- Nazi scum!
- Educate yourself!

Pakis out! Pakis out!

Smash the National Front!

- Traitor!
- Smash the National Front!

Bruce Springsteen.
Do you still have tickets?

Please tell me you still have tickets.

We haven't sold any yet, J.

Oh. Two, please.

That's 40 quid.

It's all there.


Saleem, what are you doing? Come back.

Oi, move!
What are you playing at?

We've got to get to a wedding.


Oh my God!


- Are you OK?
- I'm OK.

Go and get him! Go and get him, quickly!

Where's Javed?

Is he OK?

- Where's Javed?
- Javed?



Hey! Are you fine?

♪ Outside the street's on fire
In a real death waltz ♪

♪ Between what's flesh
And what's fantasy ♪

♪ And the poets down here
Don't write nothing at all ♪

♪ They just stand back and let it all be ♪

♪ And in the quick of a knife ♪

♪ They reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand ♪

♪ But they wind up wounded
Not even dead ♪

♪ Tonight in Jungleland ♪

You should take it off now.
Let me fix it for you properly.

Leave it.

Yasmeen looked so beautiful,
didn't she, Mum?

- Thank God she liked the boy.
- He liked her too.

I saw him sneak smiles at her a lot.

See? Those thugs couldn't spoil our day.

You've hit the jackpot.

Thank you.

Mr. Khan.

He's only gone and bloody done it.

Front-page credit.

Congratulations, son.

You're on your way.

On Yasmeen's wedding day?

You, washing your dirty clothes in public.

- Dad...
- You think that

this is a good thing to do?

What do you know about Islam?

I was just trying to protect the mosque.

I thought you'd be proud of me
writing the paper, like Mr. Evans is.

Proud? You think bringing attention
to us will make me feel proud?

I was giving us a voice,
telling our story.

We should keep our heads down.

Your head is full of big ideas,

above you.

This is all to do with this Jewish singer.

He isn't Jewish, Dad.

Your son has lost his mind,
listening to this man's bakwaas.

- Dad, just listen to me.
- You listen to me. Huh?

Do you think that this man
sings for people like us?

But he talks to me.

He's coming to London,
and I'm gonna go see him.

He's doing a concert, and I'm going.

Where did you get the money
to buy these tickets?

I earned it, at the Herald.

You told me that they didn't pay you.

Your mother has been working
night and day for this wedding,

and you had money to waste?

This has gone too far.
Give me those tickets.

No! They're mine.

It's my money.
I can't wait to get away from here.

- I want to go to university.
- You will go to university in Luton.

Luton doesn't even have a university!

But Manchester University, they want me.

You will not go to Manchester. You will
not go anywhere. Give me those tickets.

No! I bought them with money

I earned as a writer.

- My words paid for these.
- Give me those tickets!

- No!
- Here, give me those!

- Stop, stop!
- Dad!

- Stop it!
- Dad, stop it!

Get off me!

Please stop! What are you doing?

What did I say, huh?

You are not British!
So stop acting like a gora.

You are Pakistani. You are my son!

I don't wanna be your son!

I wanna be more than that!

♪ Well, the dogs on Main Street howl ♪

♪ Cause they understand ♪

♪ If I could take this moment
Into my own hands ♪

♪ Mister, I ain't a boy ♪

♪ No, I'm a man ♪

♪ And I believe in the Promised Land ♪

♪ I've done my best now
To live the right way ♪

♪ I get up every morning
And go to work each day ♪

♪ But your eyes go blind
And your blood runs cold ♪

♪ Sometimes I feel so weak ♪

♪ I just want to explode ♪

♪ Explode and tear this whole town apart ♪

♪ Take a knife and cut
This pain from my heart ♪

♪ Try to find somebody itching
For something to start ♪

♪ Well, the dogs on Main Street howl ♪

♪ Cause they understand ♪

♪ If I could take this moment
Into my hands ♪

♪ Mister, I ain't a boy ♪

♪ No, I'm a man ♪

♪ And I believe in the Promised Land ♪

- Is your dad OK?
- Excuse me.

I was there when he got knocked down.
Where were you?

I didn't know the date
of the march had changed.

I went to get tickets
to the Bruce concert.

Your dad could have been seriously hurt.
You should have been there.

Who goes to buy concert tickets
on a family wedding day?

Ah. So now I've upset you as well.

Sorry for thinking about myself for once.

Oh, stop being a prat.

You know what?

There's no point.

- In what?
- In this.

Us. It can't mean anything.
You understand?

- No, I don't.
- I mean, my family...

Javed, stop making your family
your excuse for everything.

That jumper is awful.


I know this probably isn't the best time,

but I gave your essay,

"An American Dream in Luton,"
to the principal,

and I sent it into a competition.


Because it's good.

You'll never guess what.
You only went and bloody won.

Excuse me?

They picked ten young writers
out of thousands,

and you are on the list.

Don't you wanna know what you've won?

- Not really.
- Only a trip to Monmouth College.

They run
a prestigious writing competition,

and I thought that they would appreciate
your sentiments on a local luminary.

You do know
where Monmouth College is, right?

New Jersey, USA.

You'll only be a few miles
away from Asbury Park

where your great hero grew up.

They should give the prize
to someone who can go.


My dad will never let me go to America.


Act III, Scene IV. Of media and...

♪ I get up every morning
And go to work each day ♪

♪ But your eyes go blind
And your blood runs cold ♪

♪ Sometimes I feel so weak
I just want to explode ♪

♪ Explode and tear this whole town apart ♪

♪ Take a knife and cut
This pain from my heart ♪

Oh, Mr. Malik.

♪ Try to find somebody itching
For something to start ♪

♪ Well, the dogs on Main Street howl
Cause they understand ♪

♪ If I could take this moment
Into my hands ♪

♪ Mister, I ain't a boy ♪

♪ No, I'm a man ♪

♪ And I believe in a Promised Land ♪

♪ And I believe in a Promised Land ♪

Here, Jahanoor.

I won a contest.

You won something? That's good.

For writing.

If you won, you must have worked hard.
That's good.

The prize is I get to attend
a conference at Monmouth College.

- Where's that?
- New Jersey, America.

I won out of thousands of students.

America is unsafe. There's drugs, gangs...

There's plenty of drugs
and gangs in Luton.

In America,
no one cares where you're from.

Anyone can do what they wanna do.

They don't even know what Pakistanis are.

Everything that is bad about England
is even worse in America.

No, Dad.

Everything that's good in Britain
is even better in America.

The music, the TV, the possibilities.

I wanna taste it all for myself.

It's too dangerous, and you're too young.

How old were you when you left Pakistan?

What did your dad say?

That's different.

I'm going, Dad.

I have to.

If you disrespect my wishes
and walk out of that door...

don't come back.



♪ Madman drummers bummers
And Indians in the summer ♪

♪ With a teenage diplomat ♪

♪ In the dumps with the mumps ♪

♪ As the adolescent pumps his way
Into his hat... ♪


♪ With a boulder on my shoulder
Feelin' kinda older ♪

♪ I tripped the merry-go-round ♪

♪ With this very unpleasing
Sneezing and wheezing ♪

♪ The calliope crashed to the ground ♪


Purpose of your visit?

I'm going to a conference at Monmouth
College. I won a prize to attend.

But that's not my main purpose.

I'm going to Asbury Park with my friend

to see Bruce Springsteen's hometown.

Excuse me?

Hey, Billy. Check this guy out.

He's come all this way

because him and his buddy
are Bruce fans.

I can't think of a better reason
to visit the United States

than to see the home of the Boss.

- Next.
- ♪ Well, she was blinded ♪

♪ By the light ♪

♪ Cut loose like a deuce ♪

♪ Another runner in the night ♪

♪ Blinded by the light ♪

♪ She got down but she never got tight ♪

♪ But she'll make it ♪

♪ All right ♪

♪ Some brimstone baritone ♪

♪ Anti-cyclone rolling stone ♪

♪ Preacher from the east ♪

♪ He says dethrone the Dictaphone ♪

♪ Hit it in its funny bone
That's where they expect it least ♪

♪ Yeah, he was blinded by the light ♪

♪ Cut loose like a deuce ♪

♪ Another runner in the night ♪

♪ Blinded by the light ♪

♪ Mama always told me ♪

♪ Not to look into the sights of the sun ♪

♪ Whoa, but Mama That's where the fun is ♪

♪ Ooh, yeah ♪

Saturday night in The Stone Pony,

where it all began for the great man.

♪ Well, Papa go to bed now ♪

♪ It's getting late ♪

♪ Nothing we can say
Is gonna change anything now ♪

♪ I'll be leaving in the morning
From St. Mary's Gate ♪

♪ We wouldn't change this thing
Even if we could somehow ♪

♪ Cause the darkness of this house
Has got the best of us ♪

♪ There's a darkness in this town
That's got us too ♪

♪ They can't touch me now ♪

♪ And you can't touch me now ♪

♪ They ain't gonna do to me
What I watched them do to you ♪

♪ Say goodbye, it's Independence Day ♪

♪ All boys must run away ♪

♪ Come Independence Day ♪

♪ Well, say goodbye
It's Independence Day ♪

♪ All men must make their way ♪

Shazia spoke to Javed.
He's back from America.

He's living with his Sikh friend.

- You have to make it better.
- I have to make it better?

He disobeyed me.

When you left home,

your parents begged you to stay
in Karachi, so why did you go?

I wanted a better life for my family.

You thought you knew better than them.

He just wants to study to be a writer
for a few years in Manchester.

You were leaving Pakistan for good.

I let you come here because I trusted you.

Can you not trust your own son?

If you don't try to fix this now,
we will lose our son for good.

And if that happens,
I will never forgive you.

Huh. Father and son?

Mrs. Khan?

I'm friends with Javed.

Good evening, everyone.

Welcome to a very special evening,

celebrating the very best
of Luton Sixth Form College.

Please do stay around
afterwards for a reception.

The Chardonnay and Twiglets
will be flowing.

And now I would like
to begin with Javed Khan

reading an extract from

"A Runaway American Dream in Luton."

Exciting. Whoops.

Dad, listen to this, yeah?


Bruce Springsteen was,

to quote the album he is most famous for,

born in the USA,

but he has fans around the world,
including me.

I was not born in the USA,

and I grew up not
in Asbury Park, New Jersey,

but Bury Park, Luton.

But the reason
I connected with Springsteen

is because what
he sings about and champions

are not only American values

but are the best of human values.

He talks about working hard
and holding on to your dreams

and not letting the hardness of the world

stop you from letting
the best of you slip away.

In these words,

I see a bridge between Springsteen
and my own Asian upbringing.

Just this way.

And that is why the music and values
of Springsteen's American dream

can reach and touch a boy from...

I'm sorry.
I don't know if I can read this.

You can. Go on.

When I wrote it,
I really believed every word, but now...

A lot has happened
since I wrote those words.

Then, I thought Bruce Springsteen
was the answer

and all I had to do was live by his words.

I don't think that's true anymore.

Bruce Springsteen got out of New Jersey
by following his dream.

Bruce sings,

"If dreams came true, well,
wouldn't that be nice?

But this ain't no dream
we're living through tonight.

If you want it,
you take it, and you pay the price."

So the question I'm asking is:
Can I pay that price?

I know having dreams
doesn't make me a bad son.

I also know that everything I am

is because of the sacrifices
my mum and dad made.

My dad's not a typical dad.

We don't have jokey chats.

He's not like the dad you see on telly.

A lot of the time, he seems
pretty angry at the world.

I think Bruce Springsteen
would understand my dad,

cause like his father, they both
came from poor backgrounds,

both worked hard in factories,

both had dreams that never came true,
which left them angry.

And they both had sons who wanted
the chance to make them proud.

Bruce has a song called
"Blinded by the Light."

And when I first heard it, I thought...
I thought it was about love

and being blinded by the love
we might have for a girl or money.

But last night, I listened to it again.

And Bruce is saying so much more.

I was blinded by the light
when I first heard Springsteen

because I was only thinking,
in that moment,

about Springsteen and me.

But we're not all just individuals.

We have friends...

and family...

and what they think does matter.

Success without them isn't really success.

Being blinded meant I couldn't see

how much I am like my dad
and my dad is like me.

And as much as I wanted to leave Luton,

I understand that it will never leave me.

Bruce says no one wins
unless everybody wins.

My hope is to build a bridge
to my ambitions

but not a wall between my family and me.

That's my dream.

My American dream.

In Luton.



I'm so sorry.

I've missed you like mad.

Like a river that don't know
where it's flowing,

you took a wrong turn
and you just kept going.

But everybody's got a hungry heart.

Everybody's got a hungry heart.

You told my family, didn't you?

Thank you.

Now go and speak to your dad.


- I'm so proud of you.
- Thanks. Here, take this.


You did so good.

Well done. I'll get you a drink.

- Hello.
- Hello.

Hi. You must be Javed's father.

You should be so proud of Javed.

Thanks, Miss Clay, for everything.

Oh. Well, you did the work.
You're the writer.


This Bruce Springsteen,

are you sure he's American?

Yes. And not Jewish.

I read his songs.

He said work hard,
don't give up, respect your parents.

This man must be Pakistani.

Son... write your stories, yes.

But don't forget ours.



- All packed?
- Yeah.

- I've made some food for you.
- Mum...

I meant to give you this.

It's amazing what a good price
I got for my Bruce collection.

I can easily replace that.


J! J!

Mate. Hot off the press.

New demo.

Listen, thanks for the lyrics.

Plenty more where they came from.

Right, I'm off for a sound check.

I'll try and wing you some free tickets
when we go on tour, yeah?

- See you later.
- See you later, mate.


This is it. Me in Manchester.

Me in Leicester.

- We're gonna get to that place.
- Where we really wanna go.

We'll walk in the sun.


I'm gonna miss you.

Come on, Dad. Let's go.

- Drive carefully.
- Jaroor.


You drive.

Ready? Let's go.

♪ In the day we sweat it out
On the streets ♪

♪ Of a runaway American dream ♪

♪ At night we ride through
Mansions of glory ♪

♪ In suicide machines ♪

♪ Sprung from cages on Highway 9 ♪

♪ Chrome wheeled, fuel injected ♪

♪ And steppin' out over the line ♪

♪ Oh! Baby, this town rips the bones
From your back ♪

♪ It's a death-trap, it's a suicide rap ♪

♪ We gotta get out while we're young ♪

♪ Cause tramps like us ♪

♪ Baby, we were born to run ♪

♪ Yes, girl, we were ♪

♪ Wendy, let me in
I wanna be your friend ♪

♪ I wanna guard your dreams and visions ♪

♪ Just wrap your legs ♪

♪ Round these velvet rims ♪

♪ And strap your hands 'cross my engines ♪

♪ Together we could break this trap ♪

♪ We'll run till we drop ♪

♪ Baby, we'll never go back ♪

♪ Whoa!
Will you walk with me out on the wire ♪

♪ Cause, baby
I'm just a scared and lonely rider ♪

♪ But I gotta know how it feels ♪

♪ I wanna know if love is wild ♪

♪ Babe, I wanna know if love is real ♪

♪ Oh, can you show me? ♪

♪ You wake me in the night ♪

♪ To your tears falling down ♪

♪ Come let me dry them for you ♪

♪ I wish I could tell a story ♪

♪ Chase away all those ghosts ♪

♪ You've got inside of you ♪

♪ A story of heroes that fight on
At any cost ♪

♪ Of a kingdom of love ♪

♪ To be won or lost ♪

♪ We'll fight here together
Till victory is won ♪

♪ Come take my hand
Till morning comes ♪

♪ Just close your eyes ♪

♪ I'll stand by you always ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ I'll stand by you always ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ I know here in the dark ♪

♪ Tomorrow can seem ♪

♪ So very far away ♪

♪ Here the ghosts and the goblins ♪

♪ Can rise from your dreams ♪

♪ To steal your heart away ♪

♪ Together we'll chase those thieves ♪

♪ That won't leave you alone ♪

♪ Out from under the bed ♪

♪ Out from over our home ♪

♪ And when the light comes
We'll laugh, my love ♪

♪ At the things that the night
Had us so frightened of ♪

♪ And until then ♪

♪ I'll stand by you always ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ I'll stand by you always ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ I'll stand by you always ♪

♪ I'll stand by you always ♪

♪ I'll stand by you always ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ Always... ♪

♪ For you my love ♪

♪ For you I love ♪

♪ Brave through the hurricane ♪

♪ Only for you ♪

♪ For you my love ♪

♪ For you I'd give up everything ♪

♪ For you I'd give ♪

♪ For you, my love ♪

♪ Hear, hear, hear me now ♪

♪ Hear, hear, hear me now ♪

♪ Hear, hear, hear me now ♪

♪ Hear, hear, hear me now ♪