REVIEW: ‘BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky’ is an Intimate Look at Stars

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BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky

Since their debut in August 2016, BLACKPINK has become the highest-charting female K-pop group of all time with their innovative music, eye-popping music videos and internet-breaking fashion concepts. That said, even though its the descriptor is given by Netflix, it does BLACKPINK a disservice to say that they’re only a top K-pop band, truthfully, the Korean female group made up of Rosé, Jisoo, Lisa, and Jennie are one of the largest forces in music and pop culture across the world. As a K-pop fan I have listened to “Lovesick Girls,” the band’s latest single on repeat since its debut, but I’d be lying if I said I had taken a deeper dive into learning about the women’s backgrounds and path to stardom. That’s where BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky comes in.

BLACKPINK: Light up the Sky delivers never-before-seen moments that will make any member of BLACKPINK’s global fandom — known as “BLINKs” — excited. Directed by Caroline Suh, the documentary goes deep with each of BLACKPINK’s four members. Each member is profiled from their start in idol training to their positions within the group now, and most importantly their friendships with each other. Jisoo is the whip-smart unnie (“big sister”) of the group with a quirky sense of humor. Jennie, the rapper whose fierce onstage persona contrasts with her soft-spoken nature. Rosé, the dulcet-voiced Australian coming into her own as a singer-songwriter. And Lisa si the lead dancer and rapper dancing queen who never fails to make her bandmates laugh.

Throughout the course of around an hour and 20 minutes,  BLACKPINK: Light up the Sky is an intimate look at the women. As they keep soaring to new heights in their career — from headlining sold-out world tours to becoming the first female Korean group to perform at Coachella — this documentary reminds fans and that each member is human. It’s easy for us to forget that our idols aren’t just here to entertain us and this documentary serves as a reminder. We get the chance to not only see the strengths of each performer but also get to see them reflect on the more somber moments that bring a tear to their eye. It’s clear from the documentary that their road has often been challenging, but has been one that brought them to worldwide success. This includes detailing the grueling idol trainee process and how the women have never stopped practicing and trying to grow as performers.

BLACKPINK



There is a relatability that in every testimonial, that grounds the performers in their emotions and connects them to the viewer, but most importantly to each other. BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky is an emotional and intimate look at what it took to reach success and how the women have grown together in friendship as much as success. The dynamic between them is wholesome and ultimately showcase the beauty of female friendship that is so rare for us to see in media.

As a fan, my respect for the group’s sacrifices and talent only grew after watching the documentary. Additionally, as a critic, Suh’s work in making sure to weave the emotions of not just Rosé, Jisoo, Lisa, and Jennie into the editing and set up of the documentary’s story but also the connection of BLINKs as well. There is heart to this story. It’s warm and welcoming but at the same time, Suh avoids the largest issue with documenting idols from any country: infantilizing them. Instead of framing the group as girls, Suh makes sure to showcase their maturity, their strength, and their resilience in a way that female idols are rare afforded. Plus, Suh allows each woman to showcase their identities as Koreans, but also to showcase their diverse identity, languages, and upbringings.

BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky is an intimate story that focuses on Rosé, Jisoo, Lisa, and Jennie first and their careers second. Because of this, it is able to speak to existing fans of the group and present a window for those watching that may not have ever listened to the band into why they’ve been able to resonate with fans across the world. It’s clear that baby BLINKs will be born once the credits roll.

BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky is available exclusively on Netflix now.

BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky is an intimate story that focuses on Rosé, Jisoo, Lisa, and Jennie first and their careers second. Because of this, it is able to speak to existing fans of the group and present a window for those watching that may not have ever listened to the band into why they’ve been able to resonate with fans across the world. It’s clear that baby BLINKs will be born once the credits roll.