While you may be tempted to turn-on “Luckiest Girl Alive” for the purpose of enjoying the acting of Mila Kunis and watching her fulfill her femme-fatale type-cast, I must warn you that her ability to portray the emotions behind her character partnered with the raw reality of the script deliver a stomach-twisting blow to the audience in which even I couldn’t have expected.
The movie focuses on Tiffany (aka “Ani”), a seemingly average New Yorker who attends exercise classes, writes a magazine column for female audiences and is planning the perfect wedding with her fiance. As the movie progresses, however, we learn that her “perfect life” is an effort to disguise her dark past in which she has spent her entire life hoping to bury.
Just when Ani thought she had her life back in her control, she is approached by a film-director who is interested in producing a documentary about the very childhood traumas that completely reshaped her life. With her reputation from her assumed-role in the past events being brought into question and her entire career as a writer now put on the line, Ani seizes the opportunity to finally get her side of the story out there and restore her credibility. While Ani agrees to participate in the film hoping not to reopen the wounds in which she spent so many years suppressing, the next two hours of screen time embarks on her journey and struggles that have made her the woman she is today.
From multiple scenes depicting instances of sexual assault to the portrayal of a highschool shooting, “Luckiest Girl Alive” is not for the weak-of heart and is, in my opinion, a walking trigger-warning in film-form. It made my blood run cold every time Mila’s character had a flash-back, and the directors were able to tie together such delicate topics into the entire plot with grace and without insensitively capitalizing on trauma. It is sad enough knowing that any child must go through such traumatic events, but “Luckiest Girl Alive” provides the viewpoint of what happens beyond the events, much further down the line in life. While the incidents themselves were shocking to watch, it is rare that audiences get to witness the future consequences of the events, such as how individuals afflicted by traumas carry this emotional damage with them into adulthood. The movie also exposed the monopolies of the film industry, as well as the lack of proper intervention from school officials and law enforcement that often result in cases remaining unreported and misconstrued for the sake of regulating “good publicity.”
The movie achieved a strong delivery of suspense and drama, most comparable to the movie “Gone Girl.” While not based on a true story, “Luckiest Girl Alive” is based on the award-winning novel by Jessica Knoll, which also does a fantastic job at realistically representing such important issues of society today. Out of 10, I would hands-down give this film a 9.5. There was an incredible blend of symbolism, depth and realness that shook me while watching the film and remained with me for several days. The messages were delivered perfectly without having to essentially horrify nor over exaggerate details, as the goal of the film was to portray a fictional yet very-realistic scenario that could happen to any unlucky girl around the world.
Not enough people are talking about “Luckiest Girl Alive”; even the title itself delivers such a strong message that women must undergo countless battles, many of which go unannounced yet are responsible for completely shaping their gender-roles and abilities to function in society. The movie does a great job of building tension, achieving justice for the characters and even opening the floor for uncomfortable but much-needed conversations surrounding trauma recovery, feminism and the lack of positive representation for survivors (both of sexual assault and mass attacks).
Photo Credit: IMDb