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Luckiest Girl Alive Review – Mila Kunis gets unlucky with mediocre plot in Netflix drama

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A scarred psyche shrouded by the exterior of being the “luckiest girl alive” – the movie features an astute and successful woman who is haunted by the psychological trauma of her past.

The Story

The story begins with the portrayal of a woman, or rather our ideal of a successful woman comprised within Mila Kunis’s character. The film does effectively depict the roundness in her character through the first time we observe her holding a knife. The glimpses of the knife covered with blood coupled with the fragments of the past which continue to appear throughout the movie successfully identify her mental disintegration which she observably shelters within her.

Luckiest Girl Alive Review Mila Kunis Netflix Movie
Credits: Netflix

Ani’s portrayal is that of an acute and beautiful woman who shares an apartment in New York City with her fiance, Luke. She is considered a “blessing” by her boss and is rather proud of herself for avoiding carbs, but more so for upholding this fabulous yet calculated image while she devours multiple slices of pizza when Luke isn’t looking. This foreshadowing of her dual personality through this scene makes the transition into her more macabre alternate personality more fluid which serves as a riveting motif in the movie. Thus, undoubtedly Barker ensures quality production of this film and his portrayal of characters bears no complaints but the overall execution does not align with the high standards of its production.

The Trailer

The trailer is rather enthralling and chilling which flawlessly sets the scene for a mystery/thriller drama leaving fans at the edge of their seat. However, it is rather unfortunate that the movie falls short of the expectations that they had set. Although it was promoted as a mystery/thriller there was no twist or epiphany that fulfilled these claims and instead the film continues to proceed with its rather mediocre plot.

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Luckiest Girl Alive Cast

Directed by Mike Barker, the movie stars Mila Kunis as Tiffani “Ani” Fanelli along with the following top cast:

  • Chiara Aurelia as young Ani
  • Finn Wittrock as Luke Harrison
  • Scoot McNairy as Andrew Larson
  • Justine Lupe as Nell Rutherford
  • Thomas Barbusca as Arthur Finneman
  • Alex Barone as Dean Barton
  • Carson MacCormac as Young Dean
  • Dalmar Abuzeid as Aaron Wickersham
  • Isaac Kragten as Liam Ross
  • Gage Munroe as Peyton Powell
  • Jennifer Beals as Lolo Vincent
  • Connie Britton as Dina
  • Nicole Huff as Olivia Kaplan
  • Alexandra Beaton as Hilary Hitchinson

Release Date

Luckiest Girl Alive premiered in select cinemas on September 30, 2022, and is available to stream on Netflix now. The movie landed on the streaming platform on Friday, October 7, 2022.

Plot Review and Summary

Luckiest Girl Alive takes on a rather stereotypical approach as its plot surrounds a successful journalist who finally acquired closure of her harrowing past by publishing her truth in the New York Times. Although the gruesome rhetoric of the tragedy that Ani is victim to is portrayed rather well in its darkness and atrocity, Mila Kunis falls short in exhibiting this pain. Her expressions no doubt are dense with psychological distress, but this acting aligns with the stereotypical tropes of one who is generally tormented and she, thus, falls short in acknowledging the anguish one truly suffers when they are a victim of such brutal sexual assault (gang-rape).

The production design and script, however, are impressive, particularly in the way the duality of Ani’s personality is conveyed. Ani’s acknowledgment of her inner voice depicts her keen awareness of its existence as it constantly refers to her as “psycho.” This is also portrayed when a salesman calls her “petite” which she defines as a “short-fat girl” as well as later when she internally refers to herself as having been a “try-hard financial aid kid.”

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The fact that the viewers are always privy to this internal voice creates a dramatic irony of sorts as even someone as close as her fiance, is kept in the dark whilst the audience is able to empathize with her emotional ordeals.

The cinematography connecting the past and present through the resembling colors and chiaroscuro during certain moments is rather creative in associating the two. Thus, the overall underwhelming acting and plot are an unlucky disappointment to the solid production of the film itself.

Luckiest Girl Alive Review Mila Kunis Netflix Movie
Credits: Netflix

Luckiest Girl Alive Ending Explained (Spoilers)

Towards the end, Mila Kunis’s character, Ani adopts the role of a detective and attempts to frame Dean (her former classmate and rapist) by recording his confession. However, the story at this point seems fluid, a bit too fluid in terms of how within only a matter of minutes Ani was able to acquire the sole piece of evidence she required to achieve her dream. Thus, although the tragedies that Ani suffered are depicted well, it seems that the lack of roundness or turns in the plot is what eradicates the ‘suspense’ in the film.

Luckiest Girl Alive Review Mila Kunis Netflix Movie
Credits: Netflix

Although Ani is an established journalist, the film presents a coming-of-age story of sorts, as Ani finally acquires the closure she needs by publishing her article, “I Was A Victim Too” and is finally honest about herself her true feelings towards her fiance too. It presents her as a role model, someone who prompted other women to finally, vent, and let out the trauma that they bottled inside for years. The stereotypical ending, thus, showcases not only Ani but women around the world allowing themselves the freedom of speech.

Is Luckiest Girl Alive based on a True Story?

Although most of the events depicted in Luckiest Girl Alive are fiction, the harrowing rapes were reminiscent of Jessica Knoll’s own past. Reportedly, at the age of fifteen, as she was blurring in and out of consciousness, she was raped by three boys and had to see a therapist in order to come to terms with the terrifying ordeal. She portrays her anger and the severity of the crime through Ani, she comments to The Guardian.

My anger is carbon monoxide, binding to pain, humiliation, and hurt, rendering them powerless. You would never know when you met me how angry I am. Like Ani, I sometimes feel like a wind-up doll. Turn my key and I will tell you what you want to hear. I will smile on cue. My anger is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It’s completely toxic.

Steph Harmon, Bestselling author Jessica Knoll reveals she was gang-raped at 15, 30th March 2016

Luckiest Girl Alive Reviews

Rotten Tomatoes
IMDb
Metacritic

Our Score

Luckiest Girl Alive is a drama that successfully conveys the horrors of someone affected by sexual violence but falls short because of the flat plot and mediocre acting.

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Reeva Faisal

First-Year Communications student at UC San Diego.

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