BlackPink- LIGHT UP THE SKY (L to R) LISA, JENNIE, JISOO and ROSÉ from BlackPink- LIGHT UP THE SKY. Courtesy of NETFLIX/Netflix © 2020

When BLACKPINK released their music video for the single BOOMBAYAH back in 2017, I was blown away by the bright eye-popping visuals, professional choreography and the unique catchy sound this wild bunch had created with their label, YG Entertainment. After doing some research, I found out they had established themselves one year prior with their debut single WHISTLE, which shot to the number one position in the Korean charts within the first two weeks of release, making them the first girl group to do so in Korea. I wasn’t really into K-Pop before I listened to BLACKPINK, but ever since BOOMBAYAH, I’ve been proud to call myself a BLINK (the term to describe a BLACKPINK-fan).

BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky‘ serves up the never-before-seen moments that BLINKs have been craving for years. Directed by Caroline Suh (Netflix’s ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat‘), the documentary goes deep with each of BLACKPINK’s four members: Jisoo, 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, the Thai dancing queen whose spark plug personality never fails to make her band mates laugh.

Each one of the group’s members looks back at their upbringing in different ways, and with different dreams. Writer/producer Teddy Park has been with them from the start, as a mentor and oppa (“big brother”), creating every single one of their smash hits and reveals that with their newest self-titled album BLACKPINK the time has come to take risks and tell a more personal story instead of just releasing single after single. As BLACKPINK continues to reach new heights in their career — from headlining sold-out world tours to becoming the first female Korean group to perform at Coachella — each member reflects on the ups and downs of fame and the long, often challenging journey that brought them to worldwide success.

Suh’s documentary makes use of behind-the-scenes footage, as well as personal home videos, archival footage of their auditions and years-long training with YG Entertainment (the label that brought the world PSY and his “Gangnam Style“), and in-depth interviews. These four talented women bare all when showing their vulnerable and down-to-earth personalities. We often warn each other not to meet our idols, but every single word or action the group delivers on screen seems genuine. Their worldwide success at such an early stage in their career becomes a tough topic to discuss, when Lisa discusses it was quite hard to all of a sudden become a role model for millions of fans. Their positions within the group seem set in stone already with each of them having their own trademark look and talent, but that doesn’t change the fact they’re still growing and trying to figure out who they are on a personal level.

BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky‘ is a revealing, unfiltered documentary that shows the realistic expectations and relentless charisma of the gifted foursome, while continuing to be leaders in K-pop’s popularity. The contagious energy pops from the screen, making it hard not to fall in love with each one of them as soon as they let their guard down. BLINK lesson nr. 1 – shout “BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA“!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Netflix Review – ‘BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky’

Reviewed online (streaming on Netflix), October 14, 2020. Rating: M. Running time: 79 min.

PRODUCTION: A Netflix release of a RadicalMedia production. Producer: Cara Mones. Executive producers: Zara Duffy, Jeremy Erlich, Bokyung Hwang, John Janick, Joojong Joe, Jon Kamen, Teddy Park, David Sirulnick.

CREW: Director: Caroline Suh. Editing: Peter Holmes. Cinematography: Luke McCoubrey.

WITH: Jennie Kim, Ji-soo Kim, Lalisa Manoban, Rosé.

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