BEYOND THE LIGHTS – Rated PG-13

Beyond the lights poster

Gina Prince–Blythewood sits in the director’s chair, and pens the screenplay for this emotional fame-ridden love story as she takes you – BEYOND THE LIGHTS!

Making her way through life along side her single mother – turned stage mom – Macy Jean (Minnie Driver), Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is an incredible young singing sensation on the verge of STARDOM! When she becomes overwhelmed by the life that comes along with the pressures of fame – Noni is about ready to check-out of this life, literally, when she is saved by a young cop named Kaz (Nate Parker) who comes to her rescue.

Caught up in the constant pressure that is constantly bombarding her from her mother, her managers, her record label, it seems the only escape Noni has is when she is with Kaz. Kaz has a career he is embarking upon too – future politician – which is what has been in the plans for him his whole life, thanks to his father, retired police Capt. Nicol (Danny Glover). Capt. Nicol isn’t too excited about Kaz’s new relationship that is blossoming with Noni, as she is definitely not FIRST LADY MATERIAL, but as Noni and Kaz soon find, striving for what truly makes you happy, is all that really matters in life…

I give BEYOND THE LIGHTS a B: I think that Prince – Blythewood did a superb job of portraying the real-life struggles that I am sure come with celebrity, along with a wonderfully moving love story, as the chemistry between Mbatha-Raw and Parker was apparent throughout this film. You will find yourself rooting for both of them in their careers and their commitment in life to one another. It was also great seeing Danny Glover back on the big screen as the forceful father, only wanting what he views IS BEST for his son. You also get to see a more forceful and conniving side of Minnie Driver than you have seen before, as she is perfection at playing the mother/manager who forgets what is actually the most important thing in this life – nurturing and caring for those you love, not the fame and fortunes that seem to cloud too many minds on the way up! If you movies with real-life romance, then head out to catch Beyond The Lights this weekend at a theater near you.

Kathy Kaiser