Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beyond the Lights

You know how with most female-led films, the plot almost always revolves around the leading lady finding the man of her dreams. (It should be pointed out that these films are often directed/written by people who follow too many Hollywood cliches.) Thankfully, there have been exceptions. (If there weren't any, there wouldn't be anything good to watch.)

There have been a number of male-directed films with strong female leads. (An Unmarried Woman and Opening Night come to mind.) But rarely do you see this applied to films directed by women. If anything, you could count those films on one hand. Long story short, there needs to be more women-directed films with strong female leads.

Gina Prince-Bythewood's Beyond the Lights is one of the new entries featuring a strong female lead. (And a very good one too.) Indeed, the film has a romantic storyline but there's more to the film than that. It's also a story of a woman trying to survive through life.

The film's two leads are Gugu Mbatha-Raw (previously seen in the excellent Belle) and Nate Parker. Both actors are relatively new to audiences, but hopefully they'll get more recognition thanks to this. They're both fantastic here.

A few small flaws aside, Beyond the Lights is great. Thanks to the work from Mbatha-Raw and Parker, the film proves that this is the kind of film we should be getting more often. Just something to keep in mind, you know?

My Rating: ****1/2


  1. Oh wow, I did not see this coming! The movie looked pretty boring to me, just judging from poster, title and lack of buzz. I might seek it ought now thanks to you :)

  2. Mbatha-Raw is incredible here, Oscar worthy even. I thought this was a nice film, flawed but earnest, and Mbatha-Raw just sells it so well. It's also beautifully shot. I hear you on the whole 'females must find love' aspect in movies, and I was really hoping that this film would end after she left his driveway, but you have to tack on that happy I would have had more respect for it had they let her grow WITHOUT falling into her man's arms. Her story was far more interesting.

  3. Wow. After reading your review, I'm curious about seeing it now. I initially passed it over since it looked like a lame Bodyguard remake. Thanks for the review.


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