BlackPink’s Documentary On Netflix:
Not surprisingly, “Blackpink: Light Up the Sky” has its share of material clearly directed at the fans of the K-pop party. It is affectionately known as “Blinks.”
But there is a deeper undercurrent to this Netflix documentary about the hardships and pressures put on these young people. It is reminiscent of the training regimes faced by Olympic athletes in search of gold and glory.
The South Korean party, formed in 2016, has become a global phenomenon. The documentary, directed by Caroline Suh, basically builds on their triumphant Coachella success in 2019.
The project also provides a humanizing look at the tradeoffs made to achieve this success by presenting the four participants individually. They collectively, coming up through the ranks of YG Entertainment. It churns out acts while screening applicants for the elusive qualities synonymous with stardom.
This entails a preparation regimen that starts when the athletes are in their early teens at most. When the practice begins in earnest, a schedule that allows every two weeks for one day off.
Families, Lost Experiences And Feelings
While Blackpink’s stars — Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa — convey the necessary enthusiasm for acting. When the women let their guard down a little, going beyond the platitudes, the film really distinguishes itself. For example, when addressing not growing up with their families, lost experiences, or feeling alive when on stage. A degree of emptiness in the quiet that follows, there’s an element of wistfulness.
“A lot of people make memories as a high-school student,” Jennie says. “But I never had that.”
The members also understand the strain and expectations they are currently facing. The potentially fleeting essence of success, including the possibility of shunned down as they age.
“The thing is, you can never tell how long it will last,” Rosé, who was raised in Australia, muses at one point.
Of course, with hits such as “Kill This Love,” the all-female quartet remains in its 20s. The moments of sobriety do not make “Blackpink: Light Up the Sky” a downer by any means. There are also many boisterous shows that highlight their talents, access to rehearsals. Car trips behind the scenes as they crisscross the globe, and even a few happy tears during a broadcast.
Maybe A Marketing Effort By YG Entertainment
“Light Up the Sky” was created with the cooperation of Blackpink’s influential record label, YG Entertainment, much like anything the group does. YG’s chief executive is among the documentary’s executive producers. So to some degree, as always in music, what we’re seeing here is a marketing effort. Even the occasional moment of remorse is framed as an indicator of how seriously the members of Blackpink take their work.
But the film feels truer than many other pop-star docs that are similarly conceived. That’s due in no small part to how convincing women are in their confessional-style interviews.
Light Up the Sky” has its share of scenes set in frenzied shopping malls and dimly lit recording studios, fly-on-the-wall moments revealing the scale of the popularity of the group. They sit with their manager, Teddy Park, at one point, as he plays them the completed version of a song they recorded with Lady Gaga. Their pleased yet coolly professional reaction says a lot about how quickly Blackpink has risen since its 2016 debut.
Nevertheless, considering that this sort of documentary is as much a publicity tool as anything else. The challenge is to make it more than just an infomercial. Both for the streaming service and the latest album of the party. Seen that way, Blackpink: Light Up the Sky manages to deliver a welcome reminder that everything that glitters is not necessarily gold, particularly for K-reigning pop’s queens.