Duration: 1hr 19 mins
Director: Caroline Suh
Production companies: YG Entertainment, RadicalMedia
Release Date: 14th Oct 2020
Streaming Platform: Netflix
Star Cast: Jennie Kim, Ji-soo Kim, Lalisa Manoban, Rosé
Plot: The documentary charts the meteoric rise of the South Korean girl group BLACKPINK. Proving that music knows no language or border barriers, this documentary offers a personal look at the four members of Blackpink - Jennie Kim, Ji-soo Kim, Rosé, and Lalisa Manoban, who from their years as trainees rose to their current global success, being the most popular K-pop girl group of all time.
Review: BLACKPINK has become a global phenomenon since its debut in South Korea, four years ago. They are known for their catchy tune mixing - Korean and English, and slick dance routines, but in ‘BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky,’ they wanted to dig deeper, said filmmaker Caroline Suh. And it won't be wrong to say that Caroline Suh’s documentary does touch on some of its biographical high points.
Hence in this Netflix documentary, BLACKPINK fans will get to see the softer side of these K-pop girls, in which they open up about their journey from teenage trainees to global superstars. The result is an intimate look at one of the most popular musical acts in the world, the kind that requires copious amounts of scrolling to reach the bottom of their dedicated Wikipedia awards and nominations page. In short, the director has done a stellar job of introducing Jennie Kim, Ji-soo Kim, Lalisa Manoban, and Rosé as individuals.
‘Blackpink: Light Up The Sky’ clocking in just under 01 hours 19 minutes manages to ramble well in tracking the group from their early years to their blockbuster domestic debut at Coachella in 2019.
The documentary starts with a series of American anchors, from Michael Strathairn to Stephen Colbert, introducing the group, before adding in their Korean counterparts, hence the documentary might seem to be designed for the American audiences. As the ladies answer basic questions about their careers and lives, it is not initially obvious that ‘Blackpink: Light Up The Sky’ will offer up more than just canned responses. Nevertheless, how much work goes into, just before that one big splashy performance was portrayed aptly!
Moreover, it can be said that the documentary film is most convincing as Caroline Suh settles in and allows them talk into the camera about their experiences with homesickness, body image, and the pressure to keep delivering.
Overall, given the slickly impersonal attitude that defines K-pop’s public presentation, the intimacy would be surprising from any of Blackpink’s fans, as here you get a clear sense of personality of the each member.
Does that mean Blackpink seems more interesting in a documentary than in the music that led to the creation of the documentary? Perhaps, it is the strategy for survival the women know they will need.