Caroline (Q'orianka Kilcher - Princess Kaiulani) finds herself serving time in a facility for troubled, criminal girls when her boyfriend lumped her in it during a robbery. It is there she meets DJ (Cuba Gooding Jr. - Ticking Clock) who is in charge of the facility and hopes that all girls who enter it leave better people through the training and respect schemes he has implemented, although he knows some of the girls are simply trouble and will drag others down. It is whilst inside that Caroline observes those girls who have earned the chance to train as volunteer fire-fighters. But with rivalries and upsets the question is what is Caroline going to do.
That synopsis doesn't do "Firelight" the service it deserves as this is a movie with many layers. As such we have the obvious side of the movie which sees Caroline serving time and torn between doing the right thing or getting herself involved with a gang leader who offers to sneak letters out to her boyfriend. Then we also have a young woman called Terry who made a mistake 3 years earlier and whilst inside has tried hard to make amends, becoming a leader of Crew 9 but of course there is a question of whether she will get parole. And then on top of that we have DJ who invests so much of himself in to helping the girls succeed and so every set back they suffer is like a punch to the gut for himself as well.
I could continue because "Firelight" is basically a prison movie with prison movie cliches, yet it is all strung together with character depth and relationships which makes it a lot more engaging. Now of course I need to mention that "Firelight" is a TV movie and such we are talking a movie where good things happen to those who reform and there is a lot of bonding sentiment threaded through out the movie. It is this side of the movie, the feel good, inspirational and friendship side which will either move you or end up making it too cheesy.
What this all boils down to is that "Firelight" is one of those moving, made for TV movies which will either do as it intends and move you through the way people's lives are changed or will simply end up coming across as cheesily sentimental, it moved me.