From their humble beginnings to their meteoric rise, the BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky documentary lets the girls tell their side of the story.
The first time I ever heard of BLACKPINK was in August 2016, right around after their debut. I was in my bedroom on my iPad, and I saw on the trending tab on YouTube the music video for BOOMBAYAH. At that time, I had limited knowledge of K-pop. I knew what it was, but I didn’t consider myself a fan, and the only K-pop-related things I knew were the girl group 2NE1, the song Nobody from Wonder Girls, and Gangnam Style. Nonetheless, I decided to watch it to see what the hype was about, and I was blown away. The heavy beat drop in the chorus, Lisa’s rap, the choreography, the whole music video was amazing. I followed that up with Whistle and that pretty much sold me as a fan. Ever since then, my interest and liking for K-pop grew.
BLACKPINK has remained one of my favorite groups and one that I regularly follow. In 4 short years, they managed to have an unprecedented rise on the global stage that only a few have managed to achieve. The group’s members: Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa captivated the world with their addictive songs, eye-catching choreography, and well-made stages and now, they have a documentary out on Netflix detailing their beginnings and rise in fame. The movie has a personal look at the lives of the girls and how they got to where they are now. It follows a fairly generic structure of starting from where the girls come from, to their time as trainees in YG, and to their eventual debut and success.
The movie gives time for each of the girls to do and be in their own personal spaces like with Rose with her guitar, Lisa going vintage shopping, and the members hanging out with one another to show their family-like relationship.
There is a tendency for K-pop idols to sometimes come off as too guarded, which isn’t always their fault, but in this documentary, the girls get personal about their dreams and struggles in life. They talk about dealing with the difficulties of their trainee life, as well as their own personal struggles. Jennie talks about the struggle she had to face whether or not to move to America or pursue a career in singing.
Jisoo said that her relatives used to treat her like an outcast because she was ugly. One scene that caught my attention was when Lisa talked about how she feels like she isn’t the right role model for her fellow Thais as she is still trying to find who she is and what kind of singer she wants to be.
The movie does a great job in portraying Rosé’s musical side and her personal journey stand out as one of the more memorable moments. She is very much into making music and the movie does show her working on her much anticipated (and much delayed) solo music. It was a side of Rosé that was nice to see. For me, out of all the girls, Rosé was the one who really stood out to me, because it’s rare that we get to see this side from her, and it made me like her even more.
There aren’t a lot of interviews from people outside the group except for their longtime producer, Teddy Park, but he is able to give insightful commentary about the girls and his experience working with them which shows a different side to the group. An issue I have though is that I wish there were more behind-the-scenes look at how the group works like how they make their songs, their choreography, and such.
The conversations between Teddy and the girls were interesting and those scenes showed us a bit of a side we don’t normally see. It would have been nice if we got to see more of their work ethic. I also think that it would have been better if more interviews of people who know or are close to the girls, like their families, were included so as to get a more refined picture of who the group members are as a person.
As a fan, I’m happy with BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky. It’s no secret in the fandom that it takes a long time for BLACKPINK to release anything so their first full-length album and documentary being released close to each other is a good thing. It’s approachable for new fans to get into while long-time fans will learn something new about their favorite idols. You get to see Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa not just as members of BLACKPINK, but as human beings with their own thoughts and feelings as they are anything but emotionless robots.