November 25, 2014

Beyond the Lights (2014)

Beyond the Lights (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Country: USA

Movie Review: The new drama from writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”, “The Secret Life of Bees”) begins in South London, 1998, where the teenager Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is happy to be singing Nina Simone in a young talent contest. Macy (Minnie Driver), her single-mother, seems even more nervous and excited. When the first prize is given to another participant, Macy gets mad and doesn’t take the fact kindly. Years later, Noni, now adult, was turned into an emergent pop star, Rhianna and BeyoncĂ© style, who continues to be managed/controlled by her ravening mother. She even wins a Billboard Music award, letting millions of fans proud of her success. But is she happy? This question is answered right away when Noni throws herself out of the hotel’s balcony, being saved at the last minute by Kaz Nicol (Nate Parker), the police officer assigned to guard her that night. Noni and Kaz start dating, assuming a public relationship that becomes troubled by the entrancing world of show biz, Macy’s disapproval, and the proximity of Noni’s former boyfriend, the rapper Kid Culprit. The film deals essentially with special circumstances that make tough being ourselves, in addition to family problems. The message is clear and valuable, but the film was mounted as an American soap opera with happy ending, where both sentimentality and show-off makes it cheesy enough to run away from it. The clichĂ©s are more than recommended and the formulaic strategies are only meant to grab the inattentive ones. Really, is very hard for me to cope with the immediate success of a film of this nature, where not even the music is commendable!

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