Review: 'Beyond The Lights' Exposes The Underbelly of The Music Industry And Revives Black Love
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but does it really? In the media crazed society we live in today the rigors of fame are stressing, debilitating and life threatening with one common factor void—love. It's a birth right in itself and is the one single thing a human being should at least be entitled to.
Writer and director, Gina Prince-Bythewood (the same brilliant mind that brought us the classic film Love & Basketball), explores the untold raw truth of the music industry in her newest feature film movie titled, Beyond the Lights. The film gives us a front row seat through the life of Noni Jean—played by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw—who is a young, driven, and undeniably talented vocalist. Yet even with a new Billboard award under her belt and features on chart topping singles, she’s left feeling emotionally numb and empty inside once realizing the manufactured, hyper sexualized figure she’s become in an effort to sell records. The rollercoaster ride that is her newfound fame comes to a screeching halt as Noni contemplates ending her life. It's a desperate attempt for a cry out for help. Her entire world is then turned upside down with three simple words of “I see you” from a kind young police officer, Kaz Nicol (played by Nate Parker). He sees Noni beyond the lights of stardom, bringing her back to life.
The two embark on an adventure of love and redemption as Noni and Kaz build an unbreakable bond stronger than any medical attention rehab centered could have administered. Once again debunking the notion that black love in Hollywood is a myth, Prince-Bythewood delivers an impeccable narration that will stir some interesting roundtable discussions. It's a good girls night out and absolute candy for guys.
“Holding a mirror up to nature and looking at society is what the film does and we hope to change the conversation in our community of speaking your truth and being yourself,” said Gina and her producer hubbie Reggie Rock Bythewood during the film's premiere Thursday night (Sept. 18) at the opening night of the 18th Annual Urban World Film Festival.
Beyond the Lights hits the big screen nationwide this November and is totally Vixen Verified. And if you were wondering: yes, Nate Parker's abs are on full display throughout the film.
Photo Credit: Relativity