The K-pop industry is very different from the American music industry. Its biggest stars tour the world producing radio-enabled bops, of course, but instead of making a name for themselves in public, K-pop idols are presenting their polished pictures to the world after years of intense backgrounds training. Netflix’s new documentary, Blackpink: light up the sky shows what this messy process looks like while giving viewers a personal – if still neat – look at Blackpink’s rise to fame.
The group’s fan base, known as the Blinks, is engaging – so there’s no doubt they̵
Blackpink: Light up the sky shows what this chaotic process looks like as viewers take a personal – if still a little neat – look at the Blackpink members’ paths to fame.
The internationally renowned K-pop girl group, made up of 20 women known by the stage names Jisoo, Jennie, Lisa and Rosé, are known for their lively music videos and stunning fashion choices. Their debut singles “Whistle” and “Boombayah” reached numbers 1 and 2 on the Billboard charts immediately after their debut in the summer of 2016. In 2018 Blackpink signed with Interscope Records and in April 2019 they became the first female K. pop group to perform at Coachella. On October 2nd of this year, they released their first full-length Korean-language record. The album, with appearances by Selena Gomez and Cardi B. It currently ranks # 2 on the Billboard 200. The group itself clings to # 1 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart. Despite all of this seemingly swift success, Blackpink members had a long way to go.
The documentary directed by Caroline Suh from Netflix Salt fat acid heatgives a glimpse into the pretty normal lives of Blackpink’s leading ladies who lived in South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand until they auditioned for music conglomerate YG Entertainment in their early teens.
Each girl worked for the company in South Korea for more than four years, learning to perfect their singing and dance moves without running the risk of being excluded from the program at any moment. While many trainees are of course not so lucky, the members of Blackpink survived the exhausting, multi-year preparatory process until they were finally combined into a group. Executives have presented their perfected images to the world, and you know the rest.
In addition to the insight into the backgrounds of women Light up the sky offers open conversations with Blackpink’s producer Teddy Park. It shows the performers recording in the studio, discussing their joys and insecurities, and giving energetic performances on stage. They think about their future as they eat together in the final scene. The footage shows the everyday realities of the life of the stars in and out of the spotlight.
The documentary is a K-pop crash course that progresses through history almost as fast as the pop stars skyrocketed after their debut.
The documentary is also a K-pop crash course that progresses through history almost as fast as the pop stars skyrocketed after their debut. By concentrating solely on the members of Blackpink, the Doc delves deeply into the fascinating industry that creates the idol image.
Light up the sky is not an all-rounder. Sure, we learn about Blackpink’s origins, but they know how to just show us what to expect from us – the friendship, the magic, the hard work, the stories from rags to riches. The group’s near-perfect appearance, however, is part of what makes them – and the documentary – so interesting. It’s more of a K-pop PR exposé than a deep dive into the lives of the members.
Under the rosy presentation, the documentary still manages to cast a touching and humanizing look at the Blackpink stars. There’s no doubt that the pop idols know what to say when asked a question, especially as YG Entertainment’s music favorites – they have a brand to uphold. But even within these limits, they express how strenuous tours and preparations are; they wonder what it would have been like to have had a more normal teenage experience; You grapple with the reality of being pushed into fame.
The small details – the personal ones – make the difference Blackpink: Light up the sky both interesting and heartfelt. As Jisoo, Jennie, Lisa and Rosé experience the heights of glittering fame and success, the film reminds viewers that there are people among the pop stars. It’s impossible to ignore the huge marketing advantage of a movie like this Light up the skyBut the way it thoughtfully exposes the frenzy of the super-produced K-pop industry makes it worth a watch.
Maybe you will become a fan of Blackpink. Maybe you won’t. Regardless, you’ll likely be intrigued by the distant, frenetic world of the group still finding a way to end up near home.
Blackpink: Light up the sky is now streamed on Netflix.