Luckiest Girl Alive does a damn good job of keeping you speculating and leaving you terrified in equal parts via basing the entire story on Ani’s inner turmoil, trauma, shame and her coping mechanism.
Adapted from her 2015 bestselling novel of the same name, Jessica Knoll talks about pressing themes like gun and sexual violence, bullying, PTSD, gender, wanting to fit in and peer pressure in Luckiest Girl Alive and we’ve rarely seen contemporary issues like these being handled skillfully in films before.
Cast – Mila Kunis plays Ani Fanelli, a former scholarship kid at an elite prep school. Chiara Aurelia plays Ani as a teenager, and Finn Wittrock is seen as Luke Harrison, Ani’s fiancé!
Storyline – Luckiest Girl Alive centres around Ani Fanelli, a writer who works for a prestigious magazine and doesn’t take shit from anyone! What looks like a perfect life on the outside is just as troublesome on the inside! Engaged to Luke Harrison, Ani is busy pretending to stay off carbs and stuffing her mouth with pizza when her fiance isn’t looking, when she’s approached by the same film maker for the nth time to tell her story about a school shooting that she was partially blamed for around a decade and a half ago!
Watch the trailer here!
What I liked – Mystery is properly balanced throughout Luckiest Girl Alive and the characters are nuanced compared to most thrillers. Thankfully director, Mike Barker hasn’t tried to overdramatize this one, and kept it simple without too many twists which is exactly what a story like this requires! Ani’s deadpan dialogue delivery while she’s constantly battling between her inner turmoil and living the fake life her trauma has convinced her she needs is a great example of how trauma affects a person! Showing flashbacks of the gang rape and being partially blamed for the shooting in school from the lens of a 30-something who is trying to remember these traumatic events from over a decade and a half ago while also showcasing how her past affects her till this day is done so tastefully! Chiara Aurelia portrays each of teenage Ani’s feelings with so much conviction which is extremely hard to do in scenes like these!
What I didn’t quite like – Ani’s narration through the film which doubles up as her inner thoughts serves only one purpose – leaving you more confused than the story requires! Over 1 hour and 53 minutes, this Mila Kunis starrer keeps switching between being a thriller, dark comedy and a PSA, which makes it a tad annoying to follow!