Words by ReBecca Theodore-Vachon
Known for her girl-powered themed classics like Love & Basketball and Secret Life of Bees Director Gina Prince-Bythewood exposes the underbelly of the music industry with her latest project Beyond The Lights. Bythewood says came up with the idea when she attended an Alicia Keys concert. “I wanted to explore what’s happening in the music industry, and how we’ve hyper-sexualized these young women and how it affects young girls looking up to them and wanting to emulate them.”
The story centers around Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) a British pop singer on the verge of superstardom with the release of her debut album, but who secretly struggles with the demands of fame. Enter Kaz Nicols (Nate Parker), an L.A.P.D. officer assigned to her security detail, who witnesses Noni at her lowest moment, and the two begin a tentative relationship.
Beyond The Lights works on two levels as a love story and a cautionary tale on the cost of fame. Mbatha-Raw and Parker light up the screen as star-crossed lovers and Tami Reiker’s incredible cinematography moves fluidly from the gloss of the high life to the couple’s more intimate moments. We’ve listed five reasons why this movie is a must-see!