Directed by: #CarolineSuh
Starring: The members of BLACKPINK - Jisoo, Jennie, Lisa and Rosé
BLACKPINK are a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment. With their debut in August 2016, the first girl group formed under the label in seven years, they immediately dominated music charts. They have already broken numerous records throughout their short career thus far — two of their music videos in 2019 set records for the most-viewed music video within the first 24 hours of release, with one of which breaking three and setting two Guinness World Records. They are also the first music group to have three music videos with at least one billion views on YouTube… although the members have only been in the public eye as a group for four years to date, the list of awards and achievements already seem endless. With even a world tour to their name, a lot of struggles undoubtedly follow such a fast growing popularity; BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky provides a beautifully moving insight into each member’s personal journey towards the spotlight, as well as their relationship with each other and how their bond has grown over time. One doesn’t know what happens behind closed doors, or rather behind the stage in this instance, but this documentary gives an opportunity to join the girls after curtain-call.
The overall editing (Peter Holmes) of this documentary is absolutely spectacular. How each scene and planned section of the film is stitched together adds a perfect blast of vibrancy to the pace of the production as a whole. It is an element that certainly holds a viewer’s attention throughout but in a subtle way; the editing isn’t vigorous in itself, it is mainly the clips of the group’s performances that provides the film with a source of pure energy, the editing instead provides an enthralling sense of order and synchronisation. Because of the work of Peter Holmes, the film simply flows towards an already decided destination with audiences held comfortably in the current, being taken on an adventure filled with joy, laughter and a possibility for tears to be shed.
The cinematography brilliantly intertwines with the editing of this documentary. Much of the details previously said regarding editing can be passed down to compliment the cinematography as well. It possesses simplistic properties and still grasps firmly onto the hands of a lively atmosphere. The simplicity that is shown, especially through the individual ‘interview’ sections with the group members, does not stand as a lacking of depth or any description of that nature. Everything in relation to the work of the director of photography, Luke McCoubrey, perfectly matches BLACKPINK’s specific effervescence when moulded together as a team and matches the incredible passion that can be seen when delving into the personalities of the members separately too.
As a fan of BLACKPINK myself, it was wonderful to see the members be given a chance to speak more openly and freely about their experiences and emotions. In turn, the film then embraces the range of unique qualities between the girls, like different knowledge of languages, cultures and also events in relation to their younger selves. Providing the members with a space to bare as much of their hearts as they see fit is really what makes this documentary so striking. Their comfort in that environment finds its way out of the screen, easily wrapping itself around viewers all over the world. Even with the discussion of some topics that evoke a strong, empathetic response, changing the upbeat mood one may expect, the comfort lingers like a warm fire nearby.
BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky is a captivating documentary that invites fans of the girl group, as well as newcomers to their presence, to unite together and find inspiration through the group’s story. Not only does this film give a notably new perspective to the career of BLACKPINK and the lives of the talented girls who stand together under the glistening name, it stretches further to show details of what life is like in the somewhat harsh industry in general. I cannot recommend this Netflix original documentary highly enough; it is utterly stunning in all forms, on all levels and covers many bases of curiosity.