Last Friday I saw Beyond the Lights and I thought it was really sweet, romantic, and inspirational. I went to the film with zero expectations, but just by the preview and from what I read online prior to going to the film I knew it was going to be good.
I wasn't disappointed. This film did an incredible job weaving together a beautiful love story without making it overly cheesy. I also love that the focus wasn't only on the love story. It was also about Noni letting go and truly loving herself. That's my kind of movie.
Noni, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw impressed me the most. This actress is very real and genuine on the big screen and she played Noni beautifully. The transformation of Noni at the beginning to the end was truly astonishing. She went from a sad and desperate woman to a woman who bloomed and embraced who she was.
I liked how this movie touched upon depression and desperation and how much of Hollywood suffers from this. After all, haven't we lost many stars to depression, drugs, and alcohol? Big super stars hide behind their pain and don't seek help. I can't imagine to have that kind of pain and have to hide it. Nani did and thank goodness Kaz, played by Nate Parter helped her come of her pain by "seeing her" and embracing who she truly was.
I won't say more because I already feel like I'm spoiling the film (sorry and I won't reveal how it ends!), but you really need to see it. I really felt like I identified with Noni because she struggled to find herself and didn't know how to do it. I went through a time like this in my life when I was 25, and once I learned how to let go and love me for me, then I was ready to fly.
As for the love story, it was beautiful. The actors had great chemistry and I also liked that this film was not focused on the love story as its core, like I mentioned above. Yes they helped one another and yes they fell deeply in love, but it was more than that. It was about a healthy love while still loving one self. To me this means not necessarily having your entire identity wrapped up in that person. Oh and I LOVED how they had the ocean element. The ocean (and God for me) is always healing. Always.
To elaborate more on my thoughts above, to me you can be in love with another person but it is still just as important to embrace yourself. In other words, don't lose yourself in that person. Stay who you are and allow that person to enhance you. You are more than your love story.
That's why Beyond the Lights resonated with me and was a touching love story. Love just isn't between two people. It's also okay to have your own love story. You need to be true to who you are, which means you should never allow anyone to take that away from you. You are in charge of who you become and you need to follow your heart -- always.