Blackpink: Light Up the Sky (2020)

There’s probably nothing new for die-hard Blinks, but for new fans (like myself), this is a no-frills but highly-effective introduction to the four K-pop queens who are slaying the world.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review #2,086

Dir. Caroline Suh
2020 | USA | Documentary | 79 mins | 1.85:1 | English, Korean & Thai
PG13 (Netflix rating) for some coarse language

Plot: Record-shattering Korean girl band Blackpink tell their story and detail the hard-fought journey of the dreams and trials behind their meteoric rise.
Awards: –

Distributor: Netflix

Accessibility Index
Subject Matter: Light – Inspiration, Celebrity Culture, K-pop
Narrative Style: Straightforward
Pace: Normal
Audience Type: Mainstream

Viewed: Netflix
Spoilers: No

Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa.  Blackpink: Light Up the Sky is a no-frills but highly-effective introduction to the four K-pop queens who are slaying the world. 

There’s probably nothing new for die-hard fans that they don’t already know, but for the uninitiated (like myself), the documentary is a litmus test on how far one might go to be enthused by an insanely popular band and the sometimes monomaniacal part of celebrity culture. 

I think I passed the test with flying colours because after seeing the docu, I inexplicably found myself bingeing on countless YouTube hours of Blackpink content, be it music videos, concert performances, interviews, or fan-made compilations of the quirks of each queen. 

Flashback to a decade earlier: I similarly went through a giddying experience with Girls’ Generation and became a part-time Sone (who can ever forget ‘Gee’, ‘Genie’, and South Korea’s cultural anthem and one of my all-time favourite songs, ‘Into the New World’). 

Now my obsession with Blackpink has re-energised me for 2021, and I’m proud to take the first steps as a full-time Blink. Okay, so back to the documentary… I was first attracted to the personalities of the Blackpink members before really getting into their music. 

So, kudos to director Caroline Suh for frequently drawing the focus back on the humans behind the celebs, chronicling their very challenging journey from trainees to bonafide stars. 

Each member is given her own chapter, but we also don’t lose sight of the big picture, their collective dreams, their achievements, but most importantly, their continuing growth and vitality. 

With Netflix’s powerful distribution clout, Blackpink: Light Up the Sky should expand the group’s fanbase to even more stratospheric heights.  I’m not really a legit K-pop fan; I’m more into film music, classical, new age and jazz, so like Girls’ Generation, Blackpink could very well be just a phase, like an infatuation. 

But for now, the fandom is real, and I hope it doesn’t fade away because that would be a waste, or as JisooturtlerabbitKim would lament: that’s a pity.

Grade: B+



A new year, a new anima
Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa
So pleased to learn of the four Queens
Can’t believe y’all disrupted my routines

Binged your Netflix docu, six times that week
Popped in a Tarkovsky, but suddenly felt weak
So once more on Spotify, the revolution revives
Forgotten, the Sone in me bursts into high-fives

The more solos the merrier
Nary a downbeat in my area
I’ll wait for y’all to put on The Show
No teeny virus shall halt the groove and the glow

Lovesickness is real guys, and well alive
Twenty-four slash, three sixty-five
I’ll look back someday, memory a fading ink
Proud that I was once, and always a Blink

03.01.21 / © ET

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