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Review: Blackpink Shines Bright in New Netflix Documentary

The K-Pop industry is no stranger to the world at the moment. With its growth in recent years, people from all over the world have joined the world of K-Pop, learning about the different groups and enjoying their songs regardless of the language. One of those groups that people have come to love in the last four years includes the all girl ensemble, Blackpink.

In the new Netflix documentary, Blackpink: Light Up the Sky, director Caroline Suh brings us into the world of the famous all-girl quartet, allowing those who don’t know about them to get to know them and gives their fans—known as Blinks—a closer insight into who they really are.

Meeting Blackpink

Blackpink: Light Up the Sky individually introduces us to Jennie, Lisa, Rosé and Jisoo, and we learn about how they came together as trainees at YG Entertainment, one of the Big 3 entertainment companies in South Korea. The girls explain how they spent years training for the their big debut moment; Suh includes clips from their trainee days, as well as audition videos. Every month, they went through screenings and tests to see if they would make it to the next month. Eventually, the four girls tested together and Blackpink came to life.

Following their 2016 debut with their first single “Whistle,” Blackpink became the fastest K-Pop girl group to reach number one on music charts within two weeks of debuting. From there, the accolades continued to grow, with them winning awards at both music shows and awards shows. In the film, the girls discussed the day that they found out they were number one.

Polished, Yet Honest

The documentary allows the members to open up about their lives pre-Blackpink; at the start of Jennie’s segment, she even goes on to say that she usually avoids interviews or questions about herself, showing how they are more open than usual throughout the film’s 79 minute duration. The film brings a sort-of melancholic tone when the girls discuss leaving their lives behind to pursue their dreams, becoming homesick, or feeling empty when not on stage. However, it balances out with behind-the-scenes videos of their tour performances, candid chats and prep for their historic 2019 Coachella stage, where they were the first K-Pop girl group to take the stage at the famous festival.

While this piece does not end up as a full tell-all from the group, Jennie, Lisa, Rosé and Jisoo explain that while under the fame and the lights, they are still people. They still love going out to eat, and shopping for vintage clothes—as Lisa does in the documentary—and doing things that every day people love to do. In the final scenes the girls discuss the future and speculate on what might happen when new groups arise as they grow older, with Rosé saying that “you can never tell how long it will last.”

Earlier this month, Blackpink released their first full-length album, properly titled The Album, along with their title track, “Lovesick Girls.” With that and the release of Light Up the Sky, the groupd will likely see even more fame than before. Whether you’re a fan, like myself, or are just dipping your toes into the K-Pop pool for the very first time, the documentary does a good job of showcasing the ever-busy lives of K-Pop idols. I definitely recommend giving it a watch.