Beyond the Lights Reviews

  • Oct 20, 2018

    I LOVED this movie! Amazing acting and the story is so real

    I LOVED this movie! Amazing acting and the story is so real

  • Aug 11, 2018

    Just a great film! Gugu M'Batharaw's performance was nothing shirt of masterful. So much vulnerability and emotion with just a look and that scene at the bar is a star making one. Outstanding!

    Just a great film! Gugu M'Batharaw's performance was nothing shirt of masterful. So much vulnerability and emotion with just a look and that scene at the bar is a star making one. Outstanding!

  • Jul 21, 2018

    absolute waste of time!

    absolute waste of time!

  • Jun 23, 2018

    I had to watch this movie for my Art of Cinema college class, I honestly went into this movie without any expectations and expecting it to be boring or cheesy/cliche. But I was pleasantly surprise on how much I enjoyed this movie, although the ending was a little predictable, the romance between Nono and Kaz was cute and I enjoyed the character development they both went through.

    I had to watch this movie for my Art of Cinema college class, I honestly went into this movie without any expectations and expecting it to be boring or cheesy/cliche. But I was pleasantly surprise on how much I enjoyed this movie, although the ending was a little predictable, the romance between Nono and Kaz was cute and I enjoyed the character development they both went through.

  • Jul 02, 2017

    Very smooth and well made. I'm totally gaga for Gugu!

    Very smooth and well made. I'm totally gaga for Gugu!

  • Jan 26, 2017

    BEYOND THE LIGHTS is an exceptionally well written, directed, cast, photographed and edited film . . . in which GUGU MBATHA-RAW (!) and NATE PARKER (The next DENZEL WASHINGTON?) shine so very, very bright. BEYOND THE LIGHTS has everything required of a GREAT romantic film . . . including the supremely talented and gorgeous female lead. Highs, lows, drama, even beautifully light moments . . . see it . . . and . . . fall in love. BEYOND THE LIGHTS and GUGU MBATHA-RAW possesses every super star quality . . .

    BEYOND THE LIGHTS is an exceptionally well written, directed, cast, photographed and edited film . . . in which GUGU MBATHA-RAW (!) and NATE PARKER (The next DENZEL WASHINGTON?) shine so very, very bright. BEYOND THE LIGHTS has everything required of a GREAT romantic film . . . including the supremely talented and gorgeous female lead. Highs, lows, drama, even beautifully light moments . . . see it . . . and . . . fall in love. BEYOND THE LIGHTS and GUGU MBATHA-RAW possesses every super star quality . . .

  • Dec 27, 2016

    "Beyond the Lights" is a drama that examines a famous singer from two different angles. On the surface, this is a love story between a singer and the police officer who saved her life. Beneath the surface, we find a much darker tale of a girl who is forced to mask her true self in order to achieve fame and her struggle to take charge of her life again. It sounds cheesy (and is a little bit) but this drama sends a strong message about being yourself and nobody else. It features a diverse performance by Gugu Mbatha-Raw as she expresses several different facets of her character. She successfully portrays vulnerability and a confident façade at the same time. Her inner transformation is directly linked to the change of her physical appearance as she tried to find herself. Mbatha-Raw's impressive performance is offset by Nate Parker as he looks like he is in a constant state of confusion. I wasn't buying his character and feel that a different casting choice could have improved the film. Minnie Driver pours her maximum effort into each scene. She plays the role as well as it can be played and has a chance to show some intense emotions, but I don't know if the part was written well enough to accomplish everything that she hoped. It's worth noting that Danny Glover is in this film, but probably as a favor to someone since the role doesn't offer him much screen time. The music in the film represents several different genres from rap and hip hop to blues. I appreciate the importance of Nina Simone throughout the film as her outspokenness becomes symbolic of Noni's struggle to find her own voice and use it. "Beyond the Lights" isn't going to blow your mind but the performance of Mbatha-Raw is a hidden gem and worth seeing just for her transformation.

    "Beyond the Lights" is a drama that examines a famous singer from two different angles. On the surface, this is a love story between a singer and the police officer who saved her life. Beneath the surface, we find a much darker tale of a girl who is forced to mask her true self in order to achieve fame and her struggle to take charge of her life again. It sounds cheesy (and is a little bit) but this drama sends a strong message about being yourself and nobody else. It features a diverse performance by Gugu Mbatha-Raw as she expresses several different facets of her character. She successfully portrays vulnerability and a confident façade at the same time. Her inner transformation is directly linked to the change of her physical appearance as she tried to find herself. Mbatha-Raw's impressive performance is offset by Nate Parker as he looks like he is in a constant state of confusion. I wasn't buying his character and feel that a different casting choice could have improved the film. Minnie Driver pours her maximum effort into each scene. She plays the role as well as it can be played and has a chance to show some intense emotions, but I don't know if the part was written well enough to accomplish everything that she hoped. It's worth noting that Danny Glover is in this film, but probably as a favor to someone since the role doesn't offer him much screen time. The music in the film represents several different genres from rap and hip hop to blues. I appreciate the importance of Nina Simone throughout the film as her outspokenness becomes symbolic of Noni's struggle to find her own voice and use it. "Beyond the Lights" isn't going to blow your mind but the performance of Mbatha-Raw is a hidden gem and worth seeing just for her transformation.

  • Dec 23, 2016

    Better than I expected. Mbatha-Raw, Parker and Driver all give great performances. There's a heart and soul underneath all the bling and sparkle that makes this a gem of an indie.

    Better than I expected. Mbatha-Raw, Parker and Driver all give great performances. There's a heart and soul underneath all the bling and sparkle that makes this a gem of an indie.

  • Nov 25, 2016

    Breathtaking, sharp, heartfelt, and incredibly realistic, Beyond the Lights will sway movie goers from across the country.

    Breathtaking, sharp, heartfelt, and incredibly realistic, Beyond the Lights will sway movie goers from across the country.

  • Oct 17, 2016

    Sheren Joseph Professor Watson English 111-07CP October 17 2016 "Why you wanna fly Blackbird you ain't ever gonna fly. No place big enough for holding all the tears you're gonna cry. Cause your mama's name was "Lonely" and your daddy's name was "Pain" and they call you little sorrow cause you'll never love again". Nina Simone. Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood must have been a big fan of the late Nina Simone, because she wrote a movie based on Nina's song "Blackbird." Where she captured some great elements of that song and show case them in her movie Beyond the Lights. Gina was going to originally name this movie Blackbird but she later didn't. Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. The movie depicts a young troubled pop star on the rise, name Noni Jean, she was played by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Noni is fighting an inner battle with who she really is and who her mother/manager Macy Jean, played by Minnie Driver and the record label wanted her to be. Noni felt trapped in a world where she soon came to realize was not for her, she wanted to escape from it, and to be loved for who she really was. Noni was ready to give up but, when she least expected it; she was saved by police officer Kaz, played by actor Nate Parker who was assigned to Noni's security detail. Kaz was referred to in some sense of the movie as "officer hero" and "guardian angel". Kaz entered Noni's life and changed it completely. Beyond the Lights isn't a typical romantic, drama movie; it speaks about self image and the quest for public acceptance. The story aligns with life conflicts that young people are face with daily. Beyond the Lights paints a realistic imagine on the life of young pop stars. Noni the main character show cases these emotional battles some face, not only in the twenty first century, but from way back. Especially those that are ruled or bullied by their producers/ manger, and doesn't feel like they are singing their truth, and they do not have any control over their lives, not even their personal lives. Noni felt like she was not being seen for whom she really is and she wanted to be free. Noni felt trapped and felt like she was losing herself in the entire false image her mother/ manager Macy Jean has created for her, and wanting to be free, she attempted to end her own life. Noni, the movies pop star was clearly fighting an inner battle of wanting to please her mother, who also is her manager, Macy Jean, and wanting to be her own person. Gina made this evident in the scene at the photo shot where the photographer asked Noni to remove her jacket to go topless for the rest of the shot and she looked at her mother for approval and she told her "go on" and it was seen on Noni's face that she did not feel comfortable being topless, but she did not want to let her mother down. This could be why A.O Scott, the movie critic of the New York Times, referred to Macy Jean as "ruthless". Like most people in the real world they have a "Macy Jean" in their life and also have these conflicted inner struggles and they would easily relate to Noni's character and would also understand why she related to the Blackbird in Nina Simone song. It was clear that Noni was unhappy and she was dealing with inner emotional battles. This was show cased in the second half of the movie where she had just won an award alongside her film boyfriend Kid Culprit, who was played by Machine Gun Kelly. After the award show she went back to her hotel room and found herself on the ledge of the balcony. This is when she met officer Kaz. Kaz asked Noni why she wanted to do what she was about to do and she told him "I feel like I am not being seen" and when she was just about to let go he restored all faith in her by telling her "I see you". At that moment in the movie it can be seen on Noni's face that she made a connection with officer Kaz, but what they both didn't know was that this moment was going to change both their lives. Some audience members are able to relate to this scene because they can relate to the pain Noni was displaying and others may relate to the fact that they once saved someone for their pain of not feeling loved and not being unseen for who they truly are. The great thing about Beyond the Lights, it's not just a movie that females would relate to, males can relate to it also. Gina made that seen when she showed the audience the conflicts and struggle officer Kaz was dealing with in his own life. Like Noni, Kaz had a parent that wanted him to succeed in life and to be a positive public figure. That person in Kaz's world was his father, officer Nicol, played by Danny Glover. Kaz plans or more like his father's plans was for him to "go to college, major in criminal justice and political science, become a cop and then get into politics" he had accomplished everything but becoming a Politian. Which, he was on his path of becoming until he met Noni Jean the pop star. His father told him "Noni wasn't first lady material and that he should try and meet a nice church girl" yes it sounds like officer Nicole was being racist and making it sound like Noni was not good enough for his son. Just like Noni, Kaz did not want to let his father down. This could be the reason that led Claudia Puig USA Today movie reviewer to have stated in her online article, "Both have lofty parental expectations to live up to." On the other hand, Noni's mother Macy Jean also felt the same way towards Kaz. It was clearly displayed in the third part of the movie when Noni took Kaz as her date to the BET award and Noni told one of the MC's that "yes we are an idiom now" Macy Jean displayed a look on her face of disgust in that sense making it evident that she wasn't please. She also thought that with Kaz being around Noni was a bad image for her. It was clear in the sense, when she and Kaz were waiting for Noni, who was getting changed for her performance at the BET awards. That's when Debra Lee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET came off the elevator and shock hands with Macy Jean and turn to Kaz and said "nice to meet you officer hero". That stroked a nerve in Macy Jean and she turned to Kaz and said "whatever you two are doing it needs to stop, you hanging around Noni isn't good for her. Whenever people see both of you together it just puts her back out on that balcony and it needs to stop". It was clear from both these senses that all Macy Jean and Officer Nicol cared about was their individual child's public imagine. Which audience members can relate with, some have parents that think the guy or girl their child is dating is not good enough for their child or the friends they keep are bad influences. Unfortunately, Gina Prince- Bythwood writer/director did not do a very good job with the scene leading up to the runaway. Audience members that are paying close attention to the movie would question why did they runoff, what led them to make that decision or was it Kaz or Noni's idea for them to runoff in the middle of the night. What? Why? Gina the audience wants to know. That scene was very unclear, because all that was shown is that Noni had another meltdown after what had happen at the BET awards and what her mother/manger had told her. She started to smash all of her pictures of her album covers that was hanging on the wall of her home and then out of nowhere Kaz ran up the stairs yelling "Noni stop" and he grabbed her. They both fell to the floor and he held her close while she cried and then shown next was him getting into his jeep and driving to his house, packing up some of his clothes and a voice over of him leaving someone a message saying "could you please cover for me and let the boss know that I am taking some time off and everything is find I just need to clear my head" all while drive down the highway and then the jeep stopped and Noni claiming out the back seat. This scene was unclear and lacked a lot of detail that would make the audience struggle to relate to this half of the movie. This could be the reason for A.O. Scott reference to Beyond the Lights as "romantic melodrama". In some sense this scene was reliable because they both needed to get away from it all. When they arrived to the place they were heading, Kaz asked Noni "what do you want to do now" she responded "can I just sleep". Like most individuals in the real world that is dealing with keeping up a public imagine, sleep deprivation is common and these individuals always seem to day dream about getting away being free to rest all they wanted without any worries of their daily troubles. Yes, the big so what question. The question asked by some. Some readers might disagree with the statement that Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. That Gina didn't capture any elements of Nina Simone song Blackbird. Actually Gina did, like Nina Simone's Blackbird where the lyrics speaks about pain and sorrow and asking the blackbird why it wants to be free, Gina made the character Noni show case some of those emotional battle Nina sang about in her song. What some audience members may not realize is that the character Kaz reflects some of those pains in the lyrics of Blackbird also. Beyond the Lights is not just another typical romantic drama movie. This movie showed a lot pain and sorrow that brings the audience to its lesson on love and life. It teaches the audience that not because an individual has money and having others scream their name makes the happy. That the way one in the spotlight dresses doesn't make the individual. That parents sometimes do not always seem to see beyond all what they think is right. Beyond the Lights show cases all that and more. That why it's a must watch movie and if it has been seen before this is why it should be viewed again and this time a closer attention should be paid. It is also inspirational. Film (Streaming): Prince- Bythewood, Gina, director. "Beyond the Light's ." 14 Nov. 2014, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/beyond_the_lights. Online Review: Puig, Claudia. "USA Today ." USA Today , 13 Nov. 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/11/13/beyond-the-lights-review/18101791/. Scott, A.O. "New York Times ." New York Times , 14 Nov. 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/movies/beyond-the-lights-a-divas-romance.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Image: Http://Femfilmrogues.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.Html, 16 Nov. 2014. Sheren Joseph Professor Watson English 111-07CP October 17 2016 "Why you wanna fly Blackbird you ain't ever gonna fly. No place big enough for holding all the tears you're gonna cry. Cause your mama's name was "Lonely" and your daddy's name was "Pain" and they call you little sorrow cause you'll never love again". Nina Simone. Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood must have been a big fan of the late Nina Simone, because she wrote a movie based on Nina's song "Blackbird." Where she captured some great elements of that song and show case them in her movie Beyond the Lights. Gina was going to originally name this movie Blackbird but she later didn't. Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. The movie depicts a young troubled pop star on the rise, name Noni Jean, she was played by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Noni is fighting an inner battle with who she really is and who her mother/manager Macy Jean, played by Minnie Driver and the record label wanted her to be. Noni felt trapped in a world where she soon came to realize was not for her, she wanted to escape from it, and to be loved for who she really was. Noni was ready to give up but, when she least expected it; she was saved by police officer Kaz, played by actor Nate Parker who was assigned to Noni's security detail. Kaz was referred to in some sense of the movie as "officer hero" and "guardian angel". Kaz entered Noni's life and changed it completely. Beyond the Lights isn't a typical romantic, drama movie; it speaks about self image and the quest for public acceptance. The story aligns with life conflicts that young people are face with daily. Beyond the Lights paints a realistic imagine on the life of young pop stars. Noni the main character show cases these emotional battles some face, not only in the twenty first century, but from way back. Especially those that are ruled or bullied by their producers/ manger, and doesn't feel like they are singing their truth, and they do not have any control over their lives, not even their personal lives. Noni felt like she was not being seen for whom she really is and she wanted to be free. Noni felt trapped and felt like she was losing herself in the entire false image her mother/ manager Macy Jean has created for her, and wanting to be free, she attempted to end her own life. Noni, the movies pop star was clearly fighting an inner battle of wanting to please her mother, who also is her manager, Macy Jean, and wanting to be her own person. Gina made this evident in the scene at the photo shot where the photographer asked Noni to remove her jacket to go topless for the rest of the shot and she looked at her mother for approval and she told her "go on" and it was seen on Noni's face that she did not feel comfortable being topless, but she did not want to let her mother down. This could be why A.O Scott, the movie critic of the New York Times, referred to Macy Jean as "ruthless". Like most people in the real world they have a "Macy Jean" in their life and also have these conflicted inner struggles and they would easily relate to Noni's character and would also understand why she related to the Blackbird in Nina Simone song. It was clear that Noni was unhappy and she was dealing with inner emotional battles. This was show cased in the second half of the movie where she had just won an award alongside her film boyfriend Kid Culprit, who was played by Machine Gun Kelly. After the award show she went back to her hotel room and found herself on the ledge of the balcony. This is when she met officer Kaz. Kaz asked Noni why she wanted to do what she was about to do and she told him "I feel like I am not being seen" and when she was just about to let go he restored all faith in her by telling her "I see you". At that moment in the movie it can be seen on Noni's face that she made a connection with officer Kaz, but what they both didn't know was that this moment was going to change both their lives. Some audience members are able to relate to this scene because they can relate to the pain Noni was displaying and others may relate to the fact that they once saved someone for their pain of not feeling loved and not being unseen for who they truly are. The great thing about Beyond the Lights, it's not just a movie that females would relate to, males can relate to it also. Gina made that seen when she showed the audience the conflicts and struggle officer Kaz was dealing with in his own life. Like Noni, Kaz had a parent that wanted him to succeed in life and to be a positive public figure. That person in Kaz's world was his father, officer Nicol, played by Danny Glover. Kaz plans or more like his father's plans was for him to "go to college, major in criminal justice and political science, become a cop and then get into politics" he had accomplished everything but becoming a Politian. Which, he was on his path of becoming until he met Noni Jean the pop star. His father told him "Noni wasn't first lady material and that he should try and meet a nice church girl" yes it sounds like officer Nicole was being racist and making it sound like Noni was not good enough for his son. Just like Noni, Kaz did not want to let his father down. This could be the reason that led Claudia Puig USA Today movie reviewer to have stated in her online article, "Both have lofty parental expectations to live up to." On the other hand, Noni's mother Macy Jean also felt the same way towards Kaz. It was clearly displayed in the third part of the movie when Noni took Kaz as her date to the BET award and Noni told one of the MC's that "yes we are an idiom now" Macy Jean displayed a look on her face of disgust in that sense making it evident that she wasn't please. She also thought that with Kaz being around Noni was a bad image for her. It was clear in the sense, when she and Kaz were waiting for Noni, who was getting changed for her performance at the BET awards. That's when Debra Lee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET came off the elevator and shock hands with Macy Jean and turn to Kaz and said "nice to meet you officer hero". That stroked a nerve in Macy Jean and she turned to Kaz and said "whatever you two are doing it needs to stop, you hanging around Noni isn't good for her. Whenever people see both of you together it just puts her back out on that balcony and it needs to stop". It was clear from both these senses that all Macy Jean and Officer Nicol cared about was their individual child's public imagine. Which audience members can relate with, some have parents that think the guy or girl their child is dating is not good enough for their child or the friends they keep are bad influences. Unfortunately, Gina Prince- Bythwood writer/director did not do a very good job with the scene leading up to the runaway. Audience members that are paying close attention to the movie would question why did they runoff, what led them to make that decision or was it Kaz or Noni's idea for them to runoff in the middle of the night. What? Why? Gina the audience wants to know. That scene was very unclear, because all that was shown is that Noni had another meltdown after what had happen at the BET awards and what her mother/manger had told her. She started to smash all of her pictures of her album covers that was hanging on the wall of her home and then out of nowhere Kaz ran up the stairs yelling "Noni stop" and he grabbed her. They both fell to the floor and he held her close while she cried and then shown next was him getting into his jeep and driving to his house, packing up some of his clothes and a voice over of him leaving someone a message saying "could you please cover for me and let the boss know that I am taking some time off and everything is find I just need to clear my head" all while drive down the highway and then the jeep stopped and Noni claiming out the back seat. This scene was unclear and lacked a lot of detail that would make the audience struggle to relate to this half of the movie. This could be the reason for A.O. Scott reference to Beyond the Lights as "romantic melodrama". In some sense this scene was reliable because they both needed to get away from it all. When they arrived to the place they were heading, Kaz asked Noni "what do you want to do now" she responded "can I just sleep". Like most individuals in the real world that is dealing with keeping up a public imagine, sleep deprivation is common and these individuals always seem to day dream about getting away being free to rest all they wanted without any worries of their daily troubles. Yes, the big so what question. The question asked by some. Some readers might disagree with the statement that Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. That Gina didn't capture any elements of Nina Simone song Blackbird. Actually Gina did, like Nina Simone's Blackbird where the lyrics speaks about pain and sorrow and asking the blackbird why it wants to be free, Gina made the character Noni show case some of those emotional battle Nina sang about in her song. What some audience members may not realize is that the character Kaz reflects some of those pains in the lyrics of Blackbird also. Beyond the Lights is not just another typical romantic drama movie. This movie showed a lot pain and sorrow that brings the audience to its lesson on love and life. It teaches the audience that not because an individual has money and having others scream their name makes the happy. That the way one in the spotlight dresses doesn't make the individual. That parents sometimes do not always seem to see beyond all what they think is right. Beyond the Lights show cases all that and more. That why it's a must watch movie and if it has been seen before this is why it should be viewed again and this time a closer attention should be paid. It is also inspirational. Film (Streaming): Prince- Bythewood, Gina, director. "Beyond the Light's ." 14 Nov. 2014, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/beyond_the_lights. Online Review: Puig, Claudia. "USA Today ." USA Today , 13 Nov. 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/11/13/beyond-the-lights-review/18101791/. Scott, A.O. "New York Times ." New York Times , 14 Nov. 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/movies/beyond-the-lights-a-divas-romance.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Image: Http://Femfilmrogues.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.Html, 16 Nov. 2014. Sheren Joseph Professor Watson English 111-07CP October 17 2016 "Why you wanna fly Blackbird you ain't ever gonna fly. No place big enough for holding all the tears you're gonna cry. Cause your mama's name was "Lonely" and your daddy's name was "Pain" and they call you little sorrow cause you'll never love again". Nina Simone. Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood must have been a big fan of the late Nina Simone, because she wrote a movie based on Nina's song "Blackbird." Where she captured some great elements of that song and show case them in her movie Beyond the Lights. Gina was going to originally name this movie Blackbird but she later didn't. Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. The movie depicts a young troubled pop star on the rise, name Noni Jean, she was played by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Noni is fighting an inner battle with who she really is and who her mother/manager Macy Jean, played by Minnie Driver and the record label wanted her to be. Noni felt trapped in a world where she soon came to realize was not for her, she wanted to escape from it, and to be loved for who she really was. Noni was ready to give up but, when she least expected it; she was saved by police officer Kaz, played by actor Nate Parker who was assigned to Noni's security detail. Kaz was referred to in some sense of the movie as "officer hero" and "guardian angel". Kaz entered Noni's life and changed it completely. Beyond the Lights isn't a typical romantic, drama movie; it speaks about self image and the quest for public acceptance. The story aligns with life conflicts that young people are face with daily. Beyond the Lights paints a realistic imagine on the life of young pop stars. Noni the main character show cases these emotional battles some face, not only in the twenty first century, but from way back. Especially those that are ruled or bullied by their producers/ manger, and doesn't feel like they are singing their truth, and they do not have any control over their lives, not even their personal lives. Noni felt like she was not being seen for whom she really is and she wanted to be free. Noni felt trapped and felt like she was losing herself in the entire false image her mother/ manager Macy Jean has created for her, and wanting to be free, she attempted to end her own life. Noni, the movies pop star was clearly fighting an inner battle of wanting to please her mother, who also is her manager, Macy Jean, and wanting to be her own person. Gina made this evident in the scene at the photo shot where the photographer asked Noni to remove her jacket to go topless for the rest of the shot and she looked at her mother for approval and she told her "go on" and it was seen on Noni's face that she did not feel comfortable being topless, but she did not want to let her mother down. This could be why A.O Scott, the movie critic of the New York Times, referred to Macy Jean as "ruthless". Like most people in the real world they have a "Macy Jean" in their life and also have these conflicted inner struggles and they would easily relate to Noni's character and would also understand why she related to the Blackbird in Nina Simone song. It was clear that Noni was unhappy and she was dealing with inner emotional battles. This was show cased in the second half of the movie where she had just won an award alongside her film boyfriend Kid Culprit, who was played by Machine Gun Kelly. After the award show she went back to her hotel room and found herself on the ledge of the balcony. This is when she met officer Kaz. Kaz asked Noni why she wanted to do what she was about to do and she told him "I feel like I am not being seen" and when she was just about to let go he restored all faith in her by telling her "I see you". At that moment in the movie it can be seen on Noni's face that she made a connection with officer Kaz, but what they both didn't know was that this moment was going to change both their lives. Some audience members are able to relate to this scene because they can relate to the pain Noni was displaying and others may relate to the fact that they once saved someone for their pain of not feeling loved and not being unseen for who they truly are. The great thing about Beyond the Lights, it's not just a movie that females would relate to, males can relate to it also. Gina made that seen when she showed the audience the conflicts and struggle officer Kaz was dealing with in his own life. Like Noni, Kaz had a parent that wanted him to succeed in life and to be a positive public figure. That person in Kaz's world was his father, officer Nicol, played by Danny Glover. Kaz plans or more like his father's plans was for him to "go to college, major in criminal justice and political science, become a cop and then get into politics" he had accomplished everything but becoming a Politian. Which, he was on his path of becoming until he met Noni Jean the pop star. His father told him "Noni wasn't first lady material and that he should try and meet a nice church girl" yes it sounds like officer Nicole was being racist and making it sound like Noni was not good enough for his son. Just like Noni, Kaz did not want to let his father down. This could be the reason that led Claudia Puig USA Today movie reviewer to have stated in her online article, "Both have lofty parental expectations to live up to." On the other hand, Noni's mother Macy Jean also felt the same way towards Kaz. It was clearly displayed in the third part of the movie when Noni took Kaz as her date to the BET award and Noni told one of the MC's that "yes we are an idiom now" Macy Jean displayed a look on her face of disgust in that sense making it evident that she wasn't please. She also thought that with Kaz being around Noni was a bad image for her. It was clear in the sense, when she and Kaz were waiting for Noni, who was getting changed for her performance at the BET awards. That's when Debra Lee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET came off the elevator and shock hands with Macy Jean and turn to Kaz and said "nice to meet you officer hero". That stroked a nerve in Macy Jean and she turned to Kaz and said "whatever you two are doing it needs to stop, you hanging around Noni isn't good for her. Whenever people see both of you together it just puts her back out on that balcony and it needs to stop". It was clear from both these senses that all Macy Jean and Officer Nicol cared about was their individual child's public imagine. Which audience members can relate with, some have parents that think the guy or girl their child is dating is not good enough for their child or the friends they keep are bad influences. Unfortunately, Gina Prince- Bythwood writer/director did not do a very good job with the scene leading up to the runaway. Audience members that are paying close attention to the movie would question why did they runoff, what led them to make that decision or was it Kaz or Noni's idea for them to runoff in the middle of the night. What? Why? Gina the audience wants to know. That scene was very unclear, because all that was shown is that Noni had another meltdown after what had happen at the BET awards and what her mother/manger had told her. She started to smash all of her pictures of her album covers that was hanging on the wall of her home and then out of nowhere Kaz ran up the stairs yelling "Noni stop" and he grabbed her. They both fell to the floor and he held her close while she cried and then shown next was him getting into his jeep and driving to his house, packing up some of his clothes and a voice over of him leaving someone a message saying "could you please cover for me and let the boss know that I am taking some time off and everything is find I just need to clear my head" all while drive down the highway and then the jeep stopped and Noni claiming out the back seat. This scene was unclear and lacked a lot of detail that would make the audience struggle to relate to this half of the movie. This could be the reason for A.O. Scott reference to Beyond the Lights as "romantic melodrama". In some sense this scene was reliable because they both needed to get away from it all. When they arrived to the place they were heading, Kaz asked Noni "what do you want to do now" she responded "can I just sleep". Like most individuals in the real world that is dealing with keeping up a public imagine, sleep deprivation is common and these individuals always seem to day dream about getting away being free to rest all they wanted without any worries of their daily troubles. Yes, the big so what question. The question asked by some. Some readers might disagree with the statement that Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. That Gina didn't capture any elements of Nina Simone song Blackbird. Actually Gina did, like Nina Simone's Blackbird where the lyrics speaks about pain and sorrow and asking the blackbird why it wants to be free, Gina made the character Noni show case some of those emotional battle Nina sang about in her song. What some audience members may not realize is that the character Kaz reflects some of those pains in the lyrics of Blackbird also. Beyond the Lights is not just another typical romantic drama movie. This movie showed a lot pain and sorrow that brings the audience to its lesson on love and life. It teaches the audience that not because an individual has money and having others scream their name makes the happy. That the way one in the spotlight dresses doesn't make the individual. That parents sometimes do not always seem to see beyond all what they think is right. Beyond the Lights show cases all that and more. That why it's a must watch movie and if it has been seen before this is why it should be viewed again and this time a closer attention should be paid. It is also inspirational. Film (Streaming): Prince- Bythewood, Gina, director. "Beyond the Light's ." 14 Nov. 2014, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/beyond_the_lights. Online Review: Puig, Claudia. "USA Today ." USA Today , 13 Nov. 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/11/13/beyond-the-lights-review/18101791/. Scott, A.O. "New York Times ." New York Times , 14 Nov. 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/movies/beyond-the-lights-a-divas-romance.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Image: Http://Femfilmrogues.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.Html, 16 Nov. 2014. Sheren Joseph Professor Watson English 111-07CP October 17 2016 "Why you wanna fly Blackbird you ain't ever gonna fly. No place big enough for holding all the tears you're gonna cry. Cause your mama's name was "Lonely" and your daddy's name was "Pain" and they call you little sorrow cause you'll never love again". Nina Simone. Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood must have been a big fan of the late Nina Simone, because she wrote a movie based on Nina's song "Blackbird." Where she captured some great elements of that song and show case them in her movie Beyond the Lights. Gina was going to originally name this movie Blackbird but she later didn't. Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. The movie depicts a young troubled pop star on the rise, name Noni Jean, she was played by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Noni is fighting an inner battle with who she really is and who her mother/manager Macy Jean, played by Minnie Driver and the record label wanted her to be. Noni felt trapped in a world where she soon came to realize was not for her, she wanted to escape from it, and to be loved for who she really was. Noni was ready to give up but, when she least expected it; she was saved by police officer Kaz, played by actor Nate Parker who was assigned to Noni's security detail. Kaz was referred to in some sense of the movie as "officer hero" and "guardian angel". Kaz entered Noni's life and changed it completely. Beyond the Lights isn't a typical romantic, drama movie; it speaks about self image and the quest for public acceptance. The story aligns with life conflicts that young people are face with daily. Beyond the Lights paints a realistic imagine on the life of young pop stars. Noni the main character show cases these emotional battles some face, not only in the twenty first century, but from way back. Especially those that are ruled or bullied by their producers/ manger, and doesn't feel like they are singing their truth, and they do not have any control over their lives, not even their personal lives. Noni felt like she was not being seen for whom she really is and she wanted to be free. Noni felt trapped and felt like she was losing herself in the entire false image her mother/ manager Macy Jean has created for her, and wanting to be free, she attempted to end her own life. Noni, the movies pop star was clearly fighting an inner battle of wanting to please her mother, who also is her manager, Macy Jean, and wanting to be her own person. Gina made this evident in the scene at the photo shot where the photographer asked Noni to remove her jacket to go topless for the rest of the shot and she looked at her mother for approval and she told her "go on" and it was seen on Noni's face that she did not feel comfortable being topless, but she did not want to let her mother down. This could be why A.O Scott, the movie critic of the New York Times, referred to Macy Jean as "ruthless". Like most people in the real world they have a "Macy Jean" in their life and also have these conflicted inner struggles and they would easily relate to Noni's character and would also understand why she related to the Blackbird in Nina Simone song. It was clear that Noni was unhappy and she was dealing with inner emotional battles. This was show cased in the second half of the movie where she had just won an award alongside her film boyfriend Kid Culprit, who was played by Machine Gun Kelly. After the award show she went back to her hotel room and found herself on the ledge of the balcony. This is when she met officer Kaz. Kaz asked Noni why she wanted to do what she was about to do and she told him "I feel like I am not being seen" and when she was just about to let go he restored all faith in her by telling her "I see you". At that moment in the movie it can be seen on Noni's face that she made a connection with officer Kaz, but what they both didn't know was that this moment was going to change both their lives. Some audience members are able to relate to this scene because they can relate to the pain Noni was displaying and others may relate to the fact that they once saved someone for their pain of not feeling loved and not being unseen for who they truly are. The great thing about Beyond the Lights, it's not just a movie that females would relate to, males can relate to it also. Gina made that seen when she showed the audience the conflicts and struggle officer Kaz was dealing with in his own life. Like Noni, Kaz had a parent that wanted him to succeed in life and to be a positive public figure. That person in Kaz's world was his father, officer Nicol, played by Danny Glover. Kaz plans or more like his father's plans was for him to "go to college, major in criminal justice and political science, become a cop and then get into politics" he had accomplished everything but becoming a Politian. Which, he was on his path of becoming until he met Noni Jean the pop star. His father told him "Noni wasn't first lady material and that he should try and meet a nice church girl" yes it sounds like officer Nicole was being racist and making it sound like Noni was not good enough for his son. Just like Noni, Kaz did not want to let his father down. This could be the reason that led Claudia Puig USA Today movie reviewer to have stated in her online article, "Both have lofty parental expectations to live up to." On the other hand, Noni's mother Macy Jean also felt the same way towards Kaz. It was clearly displayed in the third part of the movie when Noni took Kaz as her date to the BET award and Noni told one of the MC's that "yes we are an idiom now" Macy Jean displayed a look on her face of disgust in that sense making it evident that she wasn't please. She also thought that with Kaz being around Noni was a bad image for her. It was clear in the sense, when she and Kaz were waiting for Noni, who was getting changed for her performance at the BET awards. That's when Debra Lee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET came off the elevator and shock hands with Macy Jean and turn to Kaz and said "nice to meet you officer hero". That stroked a nerve in Macy Jean and she turned to Kaz and said "whatever you two are doing it needs to stop, you hanging around Noni isn't good for her. Whenever people see both of you together it just puts her back out on that balcony and it needs to stop". It was clear from both these senses that all Macy Jean and Officer Nicol cared about was their individual child's public imagine. Which audience members can relate with, some have parents that think the guy or girl their child is dating is not good enough for their child or the friends they keep are bad influences. Unfortunately, Gina Prince- Bythwood writer/director did not do a very good job with the scene leading up to the runaway. Audience members that are paying close attention to the movie would question why did they runoff, what led them to make that decision or was it Kaz or Noni's idea for them to runoff in the middle of the night. What? Why? Gina the audience wants to know. That scene was very unclear, because all that was shown is that Noni had another meltdown after what had happen at the BET awards and what her mother/manger had told her. She started to smash all of her pictures of her album covers that was hanging on the wall of her home and then out of nowhere Kaz ran up the stairs yelling "Noni stop" and he grabbed her. They both fell to the floor and he held her close while she cried and then shown next was him getting into his jeep and driving to his house, packing up some of his clothes and a voice over of him leaving someone a message saying "could you please cover for me and let the boss know that I am taking some time off and everything is find I just need to clear my head" all while drive down the highway and then the jeep stopped and Noni claiming out the back seat. This scene was unclear and lacked a lot of detail that would make the audience struggle to relate to this half of the movie. This could be the reason for A.O. Scott reference to Beyond the Lights as "romantic melodrama". In some sense this scene was reliable because they both needed to get away from it all. When they arrived to the place they were heading, Kaz asked Noni "what do you want to do now" she responded "can I just sleep". Like most individuals in the real world that is dealing with keeping up a public imagine, sleep deprivation is common and these individuals always seem to day dream about getting away being free to rest all they wanted without any worries of their daily troubles. Yes, the big so what question. The question asked by some. Some readers might disagree with the statement that Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. That Gina didn't capture any elements of Nina Simone song Blackbird. Actually Gina did, like Nina Simone's Blackbird where the lyrics speaks about pain and sorrow and asking the blackbird why it wants to be free, Gina made the character Noni show case some of those emotional battle Nina sang about in her song. What some audience members may not realize is that the character Kaz reflects some of those pains in the lyrics of Blackbird also. Beyond the Lights is not just another typical romantic drama movie. This movie showed a lot pain and sorrow that brings the audience to its lesson on love and life. It teaches the audience that not because an individual has money and having others scream their name makes the happy. That the way one in the spotlight dresses doesn't make the individual. That parents sometimes do not always seem to see beyond all what they think is right. Beyond the Lights show cases all that and more. That why it's a must watch movie and if it has been seen before this is why it should be viewed again and this time a closer attention should be paid. It is also inspirational. Film (Streaming): Prince- Bythewood, Gina, director. "Beyond the Light's ." 14 Nov. 2014, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/beyond_the_lights. Online Review: Puig, Claudia. "USA Today ." USA Today , 13 Nov. 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/11/13/beyond-the-lights-review/18101791/. Scott, A.O. "New York Times ." New York Times , 14 Nov. 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/movies/beyond-the-lights-a-divas-romance.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Image: Http://Femfilmrogues.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.Html, 16 Nov. 2014.

    Sheren Joseph Professor Watson English 111-07CP October 17 2016 "Why you wanna fly Blackbird you ain't ever gonna fly. No place big enough for holding all the tears you're gonna cry. Cause your mama's name was "Lonely" and your daddy's name was "Pain" and they call you little sorrow cause you'll never love again". Nina Simone. Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood must have been a big fan of the late Nina Simone, because she wrote a movie based on Nina's song "Blackbird." Where she captured some great elements of that song and show case them in her movie Beyond the Lights. Gina was going to originally name this movie Blackbird but she later didn't. Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. The movie depicts a young troubled pop star on the rise, name Noni Jean, she was played by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Noni is fighting an inner battle with who she really is and who her mother/manager Macy Jean, played by Minnie Driver and the record label wanted her to be. Noni felt trapped in a world where she soon came to realize was not for her, she wanted to escape from it, and to be loved for who she really was. Noni was ready to give up but, when she least expected it; she was saved by police officer Kaz, played by actor Nate Parker who was assigned to Noni's security detail. Kaz was referred to in some sense of the movie as "officer hero" and "guardian angel". Kaz entered Noni's life and changed it completely. Beyond the Lights isn't a typical romantic, drama movie; it speaks about self image and the quest for public acceptance. The story aligns with life conflicts that young people are face with daily. Beyond the Lights paints a realistic imagine on the life of young pop stars. Noni the main character show cases these emotional battles some face, not only in the twenty first century, but from way back. Especially those that are ruled or bullied by their producers/ manger, and doesn't feel like they are singing their truth, and they do not have any control over their lives, not even their personal lives. Noni felt like she was not being seen for whom she really is and she wanted to be free. Noni felt trapped and felt like she was losing herself in the entire false image her mother/ manager Macy Jean has created for her, and wanting to be free, she attempted to end her own life. Noni, the movies pop star was clearly fighting an inner battle of wanting to please her mother, who also is her manager, Macy Jean, and wanting to be her own person. Gina made this evident in the scene at the photo shot where the photographer asked Noni to remove her jacket to go topless for the rest of the shot and she looked at her mother for approval and she told her "go on" and it was seen on Noni's face that she did not feel comfortable being topless, but she did not want to let her mother down. This could be why A.O Scott, the movie critic of the New York Times, referred to Macy Jean as "ruthless". Like most people in the real world they have a "Macy Jean" in their life and also have these conflicted inner struggles and they would easily relate to Noni's character and would also understand why she related to the Blackbird in Nina Simone song. It was clear that Noni was unhappy and she was dealing with inner emotional battles. This was show cased in the second half of the movie where she had just won an award alongside her film boyfriend Kid Culprit, who was played by Machine Gun Kelly. After the award show she went back to her hotel room and found herself on the ledge of the balcony. This is when she met officer Kaz. Kaz asked Noni why she wanted to do what she was about to do and she told him "I feel like I am not being seen" and when she was just about to let go he restored all faith in her by telling her "I see you". At that moment in the movie it can be seen on Noni's face that she made a connection with officer Kaz, but what they both didn't know was that this moment was going to change both their lives. Some audience members are able to relate to this scene because they can relate to the pain Noni was displaying and others may relate to the fact that they once saved someone for their pain of not feeling loved and not being unseen for who they truly are. The great thing about Beyond the Lights, it's not just a movie that females would relate to, males can relate to it also. Gina made that seen when she showed the audience the conflicts and struggle officer Kaz was dealing with in his own life. Like Noni, Kaz had a parent that wanted him to succeed in life and to be a positive public figure. That person in Kaz's world was his father, officer Nicol, played by Danny Glover. Kaz plans or more like his father's plans was for him to "go to college, major in criminal justice and political science, become a cop and then get into politics" he had accomplished everything but becoming a Politian. Which, he was on his path of becoming until he met Noni Jean the pop star. His father told him "Noni wasn't first lady material and that he should try and meet a nice church girl" yes it sounds like officer Nicole was being racist and making it sound like Noni was not good enough for his son. Just like Noni, Kaz did not want to let his father down. This could be the reason that led Claudia Puig USA Today movie reviewer to have stated in her online article, "Both have lofty parental expectations to live up to." On the other hand, Noni's mother Macy Jean also felt the same way towards Kaz. It was clearly displayed in the third part of the movie when Noni took Kaz as her date to the BET award and Noni told one of the MC's that "yes we are an idiom now" Macy Jean displayed a look on her face of disgust in that sense making it evident that she wasn't please. She also thought that with Kaz being around Noni was a bad image for her. It was clear in the sense, when she and Kaz were waiting for Noni, who was getting changed for her performance at the BET awards. That's when Debra Lee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET came off the elevator and shock hands with Macy Jean and turn to Kaz and said "nice to meet you officer hero". That stroked a nerve in Macy Jean and she turned to Kaz and said "whatever you two are doing it needs to stop, you hanging around Noni isn't good for her. Whenever people see both of you together it just puts her back out on that balcony and it needs to stop". It was clear from both these senses that all Macy Jean and Officer Nicol cared about was their individual child's public imagine. Which audience members can relate with, some have parents that think the guy or girl their child is dating is not good enough for their child or the friends they keep are bad influences. Unfortunately, Gina Prince- Bythwood writer/director did not do a very good job with the scene leading up to the runaway. Audience members that are paying close attention to the movie would question why did they runoff, what led them to make that decision or was it Kaz or Noni's idea for them to runoff in the middle of the night. What? Why? Gina the audience wants to know. That scene was very unclear, because all that was shown is that Noni had another meltdown after what had happen at the BET awards and what her mother/manger had told her. She started to smash all of her pictures of her album covers that was hanging on the wall of her home and then out of nowhere Kaz ran up the stairs yelling "Noni stop" and he grabbed her. They both fell to the floor and he held her close while she cried and then shown next was him getting into his jeep and driving to his house, packing up some of his clothes and a voice over of him leaving someone a message saying "could you please cover for me and let the boss know that I am taking some time off and everything is find I just need to clear my head" all while drive down the highway and then the jeep stopped and Noni claiming out the back seat. This scene was unclear and lacked a lot of detail that would make the audience struggle to relate to this half of the movie. This could be the reason for A.O. Scott reference to Beyond the Lights as "romantic melodrama". In some sense this scene was reliable because they both needed to get away from it all. When they arrived to the place they were heading, Kaz asked Noni "what do you want to do now" she responded "can I just sleep". Like most individuals in the real world that is dealing with keeping up a public imagine, sleep deprivation is common and these individuals always seem to day dream about getting away being free to rest all they wanted without any worries of their daily troubles. Yes, the big so what question. The question asked by some. Some readers might disagree with the statement that Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. That Gina didn't capture any elements of Nina Simone song Blackbird. Actually Gina did, like Nina Simone's Blackbird where the lyrics speaks about pain and sorrow and asking the blackbird why it wants to be free, Gina made the character Noni show case some of those emotional battle Nina sang about in her song. What some audience members may not realize is that the character Kaz reflects some of those pains in the lyrics of Blackbird also. Beyond the Lights is not just another typical romantic drama movie. This movie showed a lot pain and sorrow that brings the audience to its lesson on love and life. It teaches the audience that not because an individual has money and having others scream their name makes the happy. That the way one in the spotlight dresses doesn't make the individual. That parents sometimes do not always seem to see beyond all what they think is right. Beyond the Lights show cases all that and more. That why it's a must watch movie and if it has been seen before this is why it should be viewed again and this time a closer attention should be paid. It is also inspirational. Film (Streaming): Prince- Bythewood, Gina, director. "Beyond the Light's ." 14 Nov. 2014, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/beyond_the_lights. Online Review: Puig, Claudia. "USA Today ." USA Today , 13 Nov. 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/11/13/beyond-the-lights-review/18101791/. Scott, A.O. "New York Times ." New York Times , 14 Nov. 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/movies/beyond-the-lights-a-divas-romance.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Image: Http://Femfilmrogues.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.Html, 16 Nov. 2014. Sheren Joseph Professor Watson English 111-07CP October 17 2016 "Why you wanna fly Blackbird you ain't ever gonna fly. No place big enough for holding all the tears you're gonna cry. Cause your mama's name was "Lonely" and your daddy's name was "Pain" and they call you little sorrow cause you'll never love again". Nina Simone. Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood must have been a big fan of the late Nina Simone, because she wrote a movie based on Nina's song "Blackbird." Where she captured some great elements of that song and show case them in her movie Beyond the Lights. Gina was going to originally name this movie Blackbird but she later didn't. Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. The movie depicts a young troubled pop star on the rise, name Noni Jean, she was played by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Noni is fighting an inner battle with who she really is and who her mother/manager Macy Jean, played by Minnie Driver and the record label wanted her to be. Noni felt trapped in a world where she soon came to realize was not for her, she wanted to escape from it, and to be loved for who she really was. Noni was ready to give up but, when she least expected it; she was saved by police officer Kaz, played by actor Nate Parker who was assigned to Noni's security detail. Kaz was referred to in some sense of the movie as "officer hero" and "guardian angel". Kaz entered Noni's life and changed it completely. Beyond the Lights isn't a typical romantic, drama movie; it speaks about self image and the quest for public acceptance. The story aligns with life conflicts that young people are face with daily. Beyond the Lights paints a realistic imagine on the life of young pop stars. Noni the main character show cases these emotional battles some face, not only in the twenty first century, but from way back. Especially those that are ruled or bullied by their producers/ manger, and doesn't feel like they are singing their truth, and they do not have any control over their lives, not even their personal lives. Noni felt like she was not being seen for whom she really is and she wanted to be free. Noni felt trapped and felt like she was losing herself in the entire false image her mother/ manager Macy Jean has created for her, and wanting to be free, she attempted to end her own life. Noni, the movies pop star was clearly fighting an inner battle of wanting to please her mother, who also is her manager, Macy Jean, and wanting to be her own person. Gina made this evident in the scene at the photo shot where the photographer asked Noni to remove her jacket to go topless for the rest of the shot and she looked at her mother for approval and she told her "go on" and it was seen on Noni's face that she did not feel comfortable being topless, but she did not want to let her mother down. This could be why A.O Scott, the movie critic of the New York Times, referred to Macy Jean as "ruthless". Like most people in the real world they have a "Macy Jean" in their life and also have these conflicted inner struggles and they would easily relate to Noni's character and would also understand why she related to the Blackbird in Nina Simone song. It was clear that Noni was unhappy and she was dealing with inner emotional battles. This was show cased in the second half of the movie where she had just won an award alongside her film boyfriend Kid Culprit, who was played by Machine Gun Kelly. After the award show she went back to her hotel room and found herself on the ledge of the balcony. This is when she met officer Kaz. Kaz asked Noni why she wanted to do what she was about to do and she told him "I feel like I am not being seen" and when she was just about to let go he restored all faith in her by telling her "I see you". At that moment in the movie it can be seen on Noni's face that she made a connection with officer Kaz, but what they both didn't know was that this moment was going to change both their lives. Some audience members are able to relate to this scene because they can relate to the pain Noni was displaying and others may relate to the fact that they once saved someone for their pain of not feeling loved and not being unseen for who they truly are. The great thing about Beyond the Lights, it's not just a movie that females would relate to, males can relate to it also. Gina made that seen when she showed the audience the conflicts and struggle officer Kaz was dealing with in his own life. Like Noni, Kaz had a parent that wanted him to succeed in life and to be a positive public figure. That person in Kaz's world was his father, officer Nicol, played by Danny Glover. Kaz plans or more like his father's plans was for him to "go to college, major in criminal justice and political science, become a cop and then get into politics" he had accomplished everything but becoming a Politian. Which, he was on his path of becoming until he met Noni Jean the pop star. His father told him "Noni wasn't first lady material and that he should try and meet a nice church girl" yes it sounds like officer Nicole was being racist and making it sound like Noni was not good enough for his son. Just like Noni, Kaz did not want to let his father down. This could be the reason that led Claudia Puig USA Today movie reviewer to have stated in her online article, "Both have lofty parental expectations to live up to." On the other hand, Noni's mother Macy Jean also felt the same way towards Kaz. It was clearly displayed in the third part of the movie when Noni took Kaz as her date to the BET award and Noni told one of the MC's that "yes we are an idiom now" Macy Jean displayed a look on her face of disgust in that sense making it evident that she wasn't please. She also thought that with Kaz being around Noni was a bad image for her. It was clear in the sense, when she and Kaz were waiting for Noni, who was getting changed for her performance at the BET awards. That's when Debra Lee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET came off the elevator and shock hands with Macy Jean and turn to Kaz and said "nice to meet you officer hero". That stroked a nerve in Macy Jean and she turned to Kaz and said "whatever you two are doing it needs to stop, you hanging around Noni isn't good for her. Whenever people see both of you together it just puts her back out on that balcony and it needs to stop". It was clear from both these senses that all Macy Jean and Officer Nicol cared about was their individual child's public imagine. Which audience members can relate with, some have parents that think the guy or girl their child is dating is not good enough for their child or the friends they keep are bad influences. Unfortunately, Gina Prince- Bythwood writer/director did not do a very good job with the scene leading up to the runaway. Audience members that are paying close attention to the movie would question why did they runoff, what led them to make that decision or was it Kaz or Noni's idea for them to runoff in the middle of the night. What? Why? Gina the audience wants to know. That scene was very unclear, because all that was shown is that Noni had another meltdown after what had happen at the BET awards and what her mother/manger had told her. She started to smash all of her pictures of her album covers that was hanging on the wall of her home and then out of nowhere Kaz ran up the stairs yelling "Noni stop" and he grabbed her. They both fell to the floor and he held her close while she cried and then shown next was him getting into his jeep and driving to his house, packing up some of his clothes and a voice over of him leaving someone a message saying "could you please cover for me and let the boss know that I am taking some time off and everything is find I just need to clear my head" all while drive down the highway and then the jeep stopped and Noni claiming out the back seat. This scene was unclear and lacked a lot of detail that would make the audience struggle to relate to this half of the movie. This could be the reason for A.O. Scott reference to Beyond the Lights as "romantic melodrama". In some sense this scene was reliable because they both needed to get away from it all. When they arrived to the place they were heading, Kaz asked Noni "what do you want to do now" she responded "can I just sleep". Like most individuals in the real world that is dealing with keeping up a public imagine, sleep deprivation is common and these individuals always seem to day dream about getting away being free to rest all they wanted without any worries of their daily troubles. Yes, the big so what question. The question asked by some. Some readers might disagree with the statement that Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. That Gina didn't capture any elements of Nina Simone song Blackbird. Actually Gina did, like Nina Simone's Blackbird where the lyrics speaks about pain and sorrow and asking the blackbird why it wants to be free, Gina made the character Noni show case some of those emotional battle Nina sang about in her song. What some audience members may not realize is that the character Kaz reflects some of those pains in the lyrics of Blackbird also. Beyond the Lights is not just another typical romantic drama movie. This movie showed a lot pain and sorrow that brings the audience to its lesson on love and life. It teaches the audience that not because an individual has money and having others scream their name makes the happy. That the way one in the spotlight dresses doesn't make the individual. That parents sometimes do not always seem to see beyond all what they think is right. Beyond the Lights show cases all that and more. That why it's a must watch movie and if it has been seen before this is why it should be viewed again and this time a closer attention should be paid. It is also inspirational. Film (Streaming): Prince- Bythewood, Gina, director. "Beyond the Light's ." 14 Nov. 2014, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/beyond_the_lights. Online Review: Puig, Claudia. "USA Today ." USA Today , 13 Nov. 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/11/13/beyond-the-lights-review/18101791/. Scott, A.O. "New York Times ." New York Times , 14 Nov. 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/movies/beyond-the-lights-a-divas-romance.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Image: Http://Femfilmrogues.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.Html, 16 Nov. 2014. Sheren Joseph Professor Watson English 111-07CP October 17 2016 "Why you wanna fly Blackbird you ain't ever gonna fly. No place big enough for holding all the tears you're gonna cry. Cause your mama's name was "Lonely" and your daddy's name was "Pain" and they call you little sorrow cause you'll never love again". Nina Simone. Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood must have been a big fan of the late Nina Simone, because she wrote a movie based on Nina's song "Blackbird." Where she captured some great elements of that song and show case them in her movie Beyond the Lights. Gina was going to originally name this movie Blackbird but she later didn't. Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. The movie depicts a young troubled pop star on the rise, name Noni Jean, she was played by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Noni is fighting an inner battle with who she really is and who her mother/manager Macy Jean, played by Minnie Driver and the record label wanted her to be. Noni felt trapped in a world where she soon came to realize was not for her, she wanted to escape from it, and to be loved for who she really was. Noni was ready to give up but, when she least expected it; she was saved by police officer Kaz, played by actor Nate Parker who was assigned to Noni's security detail. Kaz was referred to in some sense of the movie as "officer hero" and "guardian angel". Kaz entered Noni's life and changed it completely. Beyond the Lights isn't a typical romantic, drama movie; it speaks about self image and the quest for public acceptance. The story aligns with life conflicts that young people are face with daily. Beyond the Lights paints a realistic imagine on the life of young pop stars. Noni the main character show cases these emotional battles some face, not only in the twenty first century, but from way back. Especially those that are ruled or bullied by their producers/ manger, and doesn't feel like they are singing their truth, and they do not have any control over their lives, not even their personal lives. Noni felt like she was not being seen for whom she really is and she wanted to be free. Noni felt trapped and felt like she was losing herself in the entire false image her mother/ manager Macy Jean has created for her, and wanting to be free, she attempted to end her own life. Noni, the movies pop star was clearly fighting an inner battle of wanting to please her mother, who also is her manager, Macy Jean, and wanting to be her own person. Gina made this evident in the scene at the photo shot where the photographer asked Noni to remove her jacket to go topless for the rest of the shot and she looked at her mother for approval and she told her "go on" and it was seen on Noni's face that she did not feel comfortable being topless, but she did not want to let her mother down. This could be why A.O Scott, the movie critic of the New York Times, referred to Macy Jean as "ruthless". Like most people in the real world they have a "Macy Jean" in their life and also have these conflicted inner struggles and they would easily relate to Noni's character and would also understand why she related to the Blackbird in Nina Simone song. It was clear that Noni was unhappy and she was dealing with inner emotional battles. This was show cased in the second half of the movie where she had just won an award alongside her film boyfriend Kid Culprit, who was played by Machine Gun Kelly. After the award show she went back to her hotel room and found herself on the ledge of the balcony. This is when she met officer Kaz. Kaz asked Noni why she wanted to do what she was about to do and she told him "I feel like I am not being seen" and when she was just about to let go he restored all faith in her by telling her "I see you". At that moment in the movie it can be seen on Noni's face that she made a connection with officer Kaz, but what they both didn't know was that this moment was going to change both their lives. Some audience members are able to relate to this scene because they can relate to the pain Noni was displaying and others may relate to the fact that they once saved someone for their pain of not feeling loved and not being unseen for who they truly are. The great thing about Beyond the Lights, it's not just a movie that females would relate to, males can relate to it also. Gina made that seen when she showed the audience the conflicts and struggle officer Kaz was dealing with in his own life. Like Noni, Kaz had a parent that wanted him to succeed in life and to be a positive public figure. That person in Kaz's world was his father, officer Nicol, played by Danny Glover. Kaz plans or more like his father's plans was for him to "go to college, major in criminal justice and political science, become a cop and then get into politics" he had accomplished everything but becoming a Politian. Which, he was on his path of becoming until he met Noni Jean the pop star. His father told him "Noni wasn't first lady material and that he should try and meet a nice church girl" yes it sounds like officer Nicole was being racist and making it sound like Noni was not good enough for his son. Just like Noni, Kaz did not want to let his father down. This could be the reason that led Claudia Puig USA Today movie reviewer to have stated in her online article, "Both have lofty parental expectations to live up to." On the other hand, Noni's mother Macy Jean also felt the same way towards Kaz. It was clearly displayed in the third part of the movie when Noni took Kaz as her date to the BET award and Noni told one of the MC's that "yes we are an idiom now" Macy Jean displayed a look on her face of disgust in that sense making it evident that she wasn't please. She also thought that with Kaz being around Noni was a bad image for her. It was clear in the sense, when she and Kaz were waiting for Noni, who was getting changed for her performance at the BET awards. That's when Debra Lee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET came off the elevator and shock hands with Macy Jean and turn to Kaz and said "nice to meet you officer hero". That stroked a nerve in Macy Jean and she turned to Kaz and said "whatever you two are doing it needs to stop, you hanging around Noni isn't good for her. Whenever people see both of you together it just puts her back out on that balcony and it needs to stop". It was clear from both these senses that all Macy Jean and Officer Nicol cared about was their individual child's public imagine. Which audience members can relate with, some have parents that think the guy or girl their child is dating is not good enough for their child or the friends they keep are bad influences. Unfortunately, Gina Prince- Bythwood writer/director did not do a very good job with the scene leading up to the runaway. Audience members that are paying close attention to the movie would question why did they runoff, what led them to make that decision or was it Kaz or Noni's idea for them to runoff in the middle of the night. What? Why? Gina the audience wants to know. That scene was very unclear, because all that was shown is that Noni had another meltdown after what had happen at the BET awards and what her mother/manger had told her. She started to smash all of her pictures of her album covers that was hanging on the wall of her home and then out of nowhere Kaz ran up the stairs yelling "Noni stop" and he grabbed her. They both fell to the floor and he held her close while she cried and then shown next was him getting into his jeep and driving to his house, packing up some of his clothes and a voice over of him leaving someone a message saying "could you please cover for me and let the boss know that I am taking some time off and everything is find I just need to clear my head" all while drive down the highway and then the jeep stopped and Noni claiming out the back seat. This scene was unclear and lacked a lot of detail that would make the audience struggle to relate to this half of the movie. This could be the reason for A.O. Scott reference to Beyond the Lights as "romantic melodrama". In some sense this scene was reliable because they both needed to get away from it all. When they arrived to the place they were heading, Kaz asked Noni "what do you want to do now" she responded "can I just sleep". Like most individuals in the real world that is dealing with keeping up a public imagine, sleep deprivation is common and these individuals always seem to day dream about getting away being free to rest all they wanted without any worries of their daily troubles. Yes, the big so what question. The question asked by some. Some readers might disagree with the statement that Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. That Gina didn't capture any elements of Nina Simone song Blackbird. Actually Gina did, like Nina Simone's Blackbird where the lyrics speaks about pain and sorrow and asking the blackbird why it wants to be free, Gina made the character Noni show case some of those emotional battle Nina sang about in her song. What some audience members may not realize is that the character Kaz reflects some of those pains in the lyrics of Blackbird also. Beyond the Lights is not just another typical romantic drama movie. This movie showed a lot pain and sorrow that brings the audience to its lesson on love and life. It teaches the audience that not because an individual has money and having others scream their name makes the happy. That the way one in the spotlight dresses doesn't make the individual. That parents sometimes do not always seem to see beyond all what they think is right. Beyond the Lights show cases all that and more. That why it's a must watch movie and if it has been seen before this is why it should be viewed again and this time a closer attention should be paid. It is also inspirational. Film (Streaming): Prince- Bythewood, Gina, director. "Beyond the Light's ." 14 Nov. 2014, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/beyond_the_lights. Online Review: Puig, Claudia. "USA Today ." USA Today , 13 Nov. 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/11/13/beyond-the-lights-review/18101791/. Scott, A.O. "New York Times ." New York Times , 14 Nov. 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/movies/beyond-the-lights-a-divas-romance.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Image: Http://Femfilmrogues.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.Html, 16 Nov. 2014. Sheren Joseph Professor Watson English 111-07CP October 17 2016 "Why you wanna fly Blackbird you ain't ever gonna fly. No place big enough for holding all the tears you're gonna cry. Cause your mama's name was "Lonely" and your daddy's name was "Pain" and they call you little sorrow cause you'll never love again". Nina Simone. Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood must have been a big fan of the late Nina Simone, because she wrote a movie based on Nina's song "Blackbird." Where she captured some great elements of that song and show case them in her movie Beyond the Lights. Gina was going to originally name this movie Blackbird but she later didn't. Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. The movie depicts a young troubled pop star on the rise, name Noni Jean, she was played by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Noni is fighting an inner battle with who she really is and who her mother/manager Macy Jean, played by Minnie Driver and the record label wanted her to be. Noni felt trapped in a world where she soon came to realize was not for her, she wanted to escape from it, and to be loved for who she really was. Noni was ready to give up but, when she least expected it; she was saved by police officer Kaz, played by actor Nate Parker who was assigned to Noni's security detail. Kaz was referred to in some sense of the movie as "officer hero" and "guardian angel". Kaz entered Noni's life and changed it completely. Beyond the Lights isn't a typical romantic, drama movie; it speaks about self image and the quest for public acceptance. The story aligns with life conflicts that young people are face with daily. Beyond the Lights paints a realistic imagine on the life of young pop stars. Noni the main character show cases these emotional battles some face, not only in the twenty first century, but from way back. Especially those that are ruled or bullied by their producers/ manger, and doesn't feel like they are singing their truth, and they do not have any control over their lives, not even their personal lives. Noni felt like she was not being seen for whom she really is and she wanted to be free. Noni felt trapped and felt like she was losing herself in the entire false image her mother/ manager Macy Jean has created for her, and wanting to be free, she attempted to end her own life. Noni, the movies pop star was clearly fighting an inner battle of wanting to please her mother, who also is her manager, Macy Jean, and wanting to be her own person. Gina made this evident in the scene at the photo shot where the photographer asked Noni to remove her jacket to go topless for the rest of the shot and she looked at her mother for approval and she told her "go on" and it was seen on Noni's face that she did not feel comfortable being topless, but she did not want to let her mother down. This could be why A.O Scott, the movie critic of the New York Times, referred to Macy Jean as "ruthless". Like most people in the real world they have a "Macy Jean" in their life and also have these conflicted inner struggles and they would easily relate to Noni's character and would also understand why she related to the Blackbird in Nina Simone song. It was clear that Noni was unhappy and she was dealing with inner emotional battles. This was show cased in the second half of the movie where she had just won an award alongside her film boyfriend Kid Culprit, who was played by Machine Gun Kelly. After the award show she went back to her hotel room and found herself on the ledge of the balcony. This is when she met officer Kaz. Kaz asked Noni why she wanted to do what she was about to do and she told him "I feel like I am not being seen" and when she was just about to let go he restored all faith in her by telling her "I see you". At that moment in the movie it can be seen on Noni's face that she made a connection with officer Kaz, but what they both didn't know was that this moment was going to change both their lives. Some audience members are able to relate to this scene because they can relate to the pain Noni was displaying and others may relate to the fact that they once saved someone for their pain of not feeling loved and not being unseen for who they truly are. The great thing about Beyond the Lights, it's not just a movie that females would relate to, males can relate to it also. Gina made that seen when she showed the audience the conflicts and struggle officer Kaz was dealing with in his own life. Like Noni, Kaz had a parent that wanted him to succeed in life and to be a positive public figure. That person in Kaz's world was his father, officer Nicol, played by Danny Glover. Kaz plans or more like his father's plans was for him to "go to college, major in criminal justice and political science, become a cop and then get into politics" he had accomplished everything but becoming a Politian. Which, he was on his path of becoming until he met Noni Jean the pop star. His father told him "Noni wasn't first lady material and that he should try and meet a nice church girl" yes it sounds like officer Nicole was being racist and making it sound like Noni was not good enough for his son. Just like Noni, Kaz did not want to let his father down. This could be the reason that led Claudia Puig USA Today movie reviewer to have stated in her online article, "Both have lofty parental expectations to live up to." On the other hand, Noni's mother Macy Jean also felt the same way towards Kaz. It was clearly displayed in the third part of the movie when Noni took Kaz as her date to the BET award and Noni told one of the MC's that "yes we are an idiom now" Macy Jean displayed a look on her face of disgust in that sense making it evident that she wasn't please. She also thought that with Kaz being around Noni was a bad image for her. It was clear in the sense, when she and Kaz were waiting for Noni, who was getting changed for her performance at the BET awards. That's when Debra Lee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET came off the elevator and shock hands with Macy Jean and turn to Kaz and said "nice to meet you officer hero". That stroked a nerve in Macy Jean and she turned to Kaz and said "whatever you two are doing it needs to stop, you hanging around Noni isn't good for her. Whenever people see both of you together it just puts her back out on that balcony and it needs to stop". It was clear from both these senses that all Macy Jean and Officer Nicol cared about was their individual child's public imagine. Which audience members can relate with, some have parents that think the guy or girl their child is dating is not good enough for their child or the friends they keep are bad influences. Unfortunately, Gina Prince- Bythwood writer/director did not do a very good job with the scene leading up to the runaway. Audience members that are paying close attention to the movie would question why did they runoff, what led them to make that decision or was it Kaz or Noni's idea for them to runoff in the middle of the night. What? Why? Gina the audience wants to know. That scene was very unclear, because all that was shown is that Noni had another meltdown after what had happen at the BET awards and what her mother/manger had told her. She started to smash all of her pictures of her album covers that was hanging on the wall of her home and then out of nowhere Kaz ran up the stairs yelling "Noni stop" and he grabbed her. They both fell to the floor and he held her close while she cried and then shown next was him getting into his jeep and driving to his house, packing up some of his clothes and a voice over of him leaving someone a message saying "could you please cover for me and let the boss know that I am taking some time off and everything is find I just need to clear my head" all while drive down the highway and then the jeep stopped and Noni claiming out the back seat. This scene was unclear and lacked a lot of detail that would make the audience struggle to relate to this half of the movie. This could be the reason for A.O. Scott reference to Beyond the Lights as "romantic melodrama". In some sense this scene was reliable because they both needed to get away from it all. When they arrived to the place they were heading, Kaz asked Noni "what do you want to do now" she responded "can I just sleep". Like most individuals in the real world that is dealing with keeping up a public imagine, sleep deprivation is common and these individuals always seem to day dream about getting away being free to rest all they wanted without any worries of their daily troubles. Yes, the big so what question. The question asked by some. Some readers might disagree with the statement that Beyond the Lights is a relatable movie which shows conflict between personal and public image. That Gina didn't capture any elements of Nina Simone song Blackbird. Actually Gina did, like Nina Simone's Blackbird where the lyrics speaks about pain and sorrow and asking the blackbird why it wants to be free, Gina made the character Noni show case some of those emotional battle Nina sang about in her song. What some audience members may not realize is that the character Kaz reflects some of those pains in the lyrics of Blackbird also. Beyond the Lights is not just another typical romantic drama movie. This movie showed a lot pain and sorrow that brings the audience to its lesson on love and life. It teaches the audience that not because an individual has money and having others scream their name makes the happy. That the way one in the spotlight dresses doesn't make the individual. That parents sometimes do not always seem to see beyond all what they think is right. Beyond the Lights show cases all that and more. That why it's a must watch movie and if it has been seen before this is why it should be viewed again and this time a closer attention should be paid. It is also inspirational. Film (Streaming): Prince- Bythewood, Gina, director. "Beyond the Light's ." 14 Nov. 2014, https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/beyond_the_lights. Online Review: Puig, Claudia. "USA Today ." USA Today , 13 Nov. 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/11/13/beyond-the-lights-review/18101791/. Scott, A.O. "New York Times ." New York Times , 14 Nov. 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/movies/beyond-the-lights-a-divas-romance.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Image: Http://Femfilmrogues.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.Html, 16 Nov. 2014.