Noni Jean is ‘the’ next pop sensation waiting to break all records with her soon to be released debut album. But she doesn’t desire to relish the fame and hype for they put her in a lot of pain and decides to end her life, only to be saved by ‘Kaz’ Nicol, a cop with political aspirations. Despite all odds, they hangout a lot and eventually fall in love as Kaz sees though the curtains of Noni and wants to help her realize her true self. Are they able to crack the code and live up to their goals? The answer is what forms the rest of this tale.
Running Time:
116 min
Release date:
14 November 2014
Directed by:
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Produced by:
Stephanie Allain
Reggie Rock Bythewood
Ryan Kavanaugh
Written by:
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Minnie Driver
Nate Parker
Danny Glover
Machine Gun Kelly
Jordan Belfi
Music by:
Albert Redoux-Didimonsen
Shot by:
Tami Reiker
Edited by:
Terilyn A. Shropshire
Distributed by:
Relativity Media

What’s Hot

  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s portrayal of Noni makes it hard to acknowledge that she is only enacting a role! Such is the quotient of involvement she exhibits to blur the line between reel and real. Especially, the heated exchanges with her influencing mother have many wow moments that contribute towards an unforgettable character etched in our memories.
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood, the director has made visibly effective choices of actors to play the characters influencing Noni’s life. Nate Parker as the ever so virtuous ‘Kaz’ and Minnie Driver as the typical control freak Mother are top class selections with polar opposite roles that pull Noni in and out of mediocrity.
  • Albert Redoux-Didimonsen makes heads turn and groove with a bunch of peppy songs and intense scores that captures all the euphoria of the pop loving manic crowd, all the hurt felt by Kaz and Noni, all the beautiful romance they exhibit and fittingly ends with the best one of the lot – ‘Grateful’ which not so surprisingly landed an academy award nomination for best original score!
  • Sandra Hernandez’s costumes look so ravishing on Noni and have been crucial in etching one part of her character with such bright and dazzling designs that accentuate. There has been commendable work done by Jonathan Seti as well in cooking up the suave on stage makeup for Noni which is a whole lot different from her look sans makeup where she becomes literally unrecognizable!

What’s Not

  • The core of the movie is built on lots of unbelievable events like those of unprecedented craze for a singer yet to even make her debut and her romance with a down-to-earth cop. To make things more unrealistic, the characters that could probably prove to be a hindrance for a happy ending to the couple are conveniently left out of the plot towards the end.



Verdict Stamp

Beyond the Lights does offer us that rare peek through the life of a young music sensation and re-iterates that the path to stardom is not full of roses and comes with a lot of emotional baggage. While it has its share of shortcomings to bring out a happy ending, the movie stands strong on the back of exceptional performance on screen and behind it as well!