Beyond the Lights is the story of a young singer and her narcissistic momager, played with gusto by Minnie Driver that tries to shine a different light on mother daughter relationships. It shines bright but somewhere along the way it loses its way and Beyond the Lights shifts the spotlight onto the same old love conquers all schmaltz.
Beyond the Lights stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw playing Noni who is the bright young rising star on the R&B hip hop scene winning a Billboard award before her first album is released. Yet the question is: is she really happy? Queue the flashbacks and we see essentially she is living her mother’s dream, a narcissistic one at that. Her mother, played with gusto by Minnie Driver, wants it all for her(self). Then comes a surprise twist within the first 20 minutes of the film that changes everything.
It is an interesting film but the romantic sub-plot detracted from what could have been an interesting independent film. All the central characters play their roles well but ultimately this film feels flat because, in my opinion, it is more suited to the theatre than the cinemas.
Beyond the Lights was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival as part of the American Dreams program and will open in cinemas across the UK from 29 June 2015.
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