Beyond The Pages
Romance ignites between a troubled young singer on the cusp of stardom, and a handsome young cop with political ambitions in this drama about the power of walking your own path. Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a talented singer whose ethereal voice has taken the world of music by storm. A glimpse beneath the surface, however, reveals a girl who's cracking under the pressure to top the charts. When Noni tries to end it all, concerned cop Kaz Nicol (Nate Parker) pulls her back from the ledge, and shows her that life is still worth living. Along the way, Noni and Kaz fall head over heels in love. Meanwhile, the powers that be conspire to keep them apart as well as focused on their respective careers. But without Kaz's love, Noni may never find her true voice.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Noni Jean, Minnie Driver as Macy Jean, Nate Parker as Kaz Nicol, Danny Glover as Captain David Nicol, Machine Gun Kelly as Kid Culprit.
Written and Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
Beyond the Lights is the story of Noni, the music world’s latest superstar. But not all is what it seems, and the pressures of fame have Noni on the edge – until she meets Kaz Nicol, a young cop and aspiring politician who’s been assigned to her detail. Drawn to each other, Noni and Kaz fall fast and hard, despite the protests of those around them who urge them to put their career ambitions ahead of their romance. But it is ultimately Kaz’s love that gives Noni the courage to find her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.
Beyond the Lights was a movie that mixed in two of my favorite things: romance and music. From the moment I saw the trailer I was excited to see it. The storyline, the music, and the diverse cast, all had me intrigued.
“Do you want to be a runner-up, or do you want to be a winner?
Noni-Jean, is a rising star. She’s beautiful, famous, and successful. She’s already won numerous awards and her album hasn’t even dropped yet. Despite her new success, Noni isn’t happy. The raunchy music, skimpy outfits, and wild persona, is not what Noni wanted for herself. Noni has always dreamed of singing the music she loves; music that has heartfelt lyrics and soul. Her mother is the one that has always guided her career and Noni doesn’t have much of a say in how her life is run. When all the pain and frustrations finally become too much, she tries to commit suicide.
“I feel like I’m suffocating and no one can see me.”
“…I see you. I see you. I see you.”
At her weakest moment Noni meets, Officer Kaz Nicol. Kaz saves Noni from her near suicide attempt. In that brief moment they shared, it sparked something between the two. I really liked Kaz’s character. Kaz was a local police officer but he also aspired to be a city councilman. Kaz’s father is also a police officer and he is the driving force behind Kaz’s career goals. Kaz’s was sweet and smart. Despite being labeled a hero for what he did, he doesn’t let it get to his head. Kaz truly seemed to be concerned for Noni’s well-being.
The two strike a friendship that quickly leads too much more. With each other they have a chance to be free. Noni is finally able to be herself around Kaz and it’s easy for her to share her hopes and dreams with him. Kaz sees the goodness in Noni and he encourages her to do the things she dreams. Both Noni and Kaz are at a crossroads in their lives. They both were being pushed in opposite direction of what they really wanted for themselves. The two push forward with their relationship but outside influences want to keep the couple apart. Noni finally has to decide if she is strong enough to take back control of her life or does she keep playing the part? Kaz has to decide on what he really wants to do with his career.
Why I loved this movie
The music. From Nina Simone, to India Arie, Machine Gun Kelly (aka Kid Culprit) there was a wide variety of music. Many of the songs had amazing lyrics and the songs went perfectly with the mood of the story. Secondly the cast, there was fantastic chemistry between the main characters and I was drawn into the movie. I loved Noni’s vulnerability and inner strength and Kaz was great a fantastic character all around. There were different layers to this story and it all tied together well. I really enjoyed the mix of romance and drama. It was a sweet story and in the end…