REVIEW: ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ Is A Harsh Look at Being a Victim

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Luckiest Girl Alive - But Why Tho

Luckiest Girl Alive is a drama starring Mila Kunis on Netflix. Ani Fanelli (Kunis) looks to be living a dream life. Writing for a magazine, she lives in New York City with her rich, attractive fiance Luke. But beneath her confident exterior, Ani is still reliving events that happened in high school. Things that, thanks to the failures of most of those around her, she has never gotten to properly address.

As I sit down to write this review, part of me is viscerally upset. I’m upset because of how terrifyingly real Luckiest Girl AliveI’s narrative feels to me. Sadly though, this realness doesn’t just come in the horrible moments that punctuate Ani’s trauma. No. It comes just as much from the almost uniform manner in which nearly everyone in her life fails to see her and what she needs to be able to properly heal from the horrendous events of her past.

When the film first has us joining Ani’s life, we see her as she is today. Successful, and seemingly in control of her life. Almost immediately though, this curtain is drawn back thanks to some remarkably voiced internal dialogue on the part of Kunis. As Ani maneuvers through her days, we find anger and resentment that simmers constantly beneath her surface. When a documentary filmmaker approaches Ani to have her talk about the horrible events of her high school years, everything rapidly comes to a head.

As Luckiest Girl Alive progresses through its narrative it splits its time between Ani’s present and her past. As the movie gradually unveils what happened to Ani all those years ago, we quickly learn just how horrible the key moments of her life were. But what makes these moments even worse is how everyone around her twists, ignores, or tries to manipulate them for their reasons.

While nothing is as scarring as the horrendous acts that highlight Ani’s worst days, the film nevertheless does a great job of showing just how thoroughly damaging the fallout is too. Virtually every conceivable terrible reaction to Ani’s trauma is dolled out to her in turn. From those wanting to sweep it under the rug, to those wanting to blame her for the events that are brought down upon her, and perhaps worst of all, those who treat her badly for not confronting people about it in the manner they believe she should. With only a couple of exceptions, not a single person in Ani’s life seems to have only her best interest at heart. It is equal parts heartbreaking and terrifying to watch.

What manages to make Luckiest Girl Alive‘s story even more impactful than its simple concept is Kunis’s acting. As Ani’s emotional state grows more and more unstable, Kunis delivers the woman’s every moment with skill and power. This committed portrayal of her character’s anguish makes the ending moments when she finally starts doing what she needs to feel truly triumphant. I have rarely wanted to give a high five to my TV screen so bad.

Luckiest Girl Alive delivers a heartbreakingly real feeling story about just how coldly the world can be to someone who has survived traumatic events. While its willingness to focus on this coldness makes the film hard to watch, it is a struggle that I cannot help but feel like I owed Ani, and so many others, to experience.

Luckiest Girl Alive is streaming now on Netflix.


Luckiest Girl Alive
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

Luckiest Girl Alive delivers a heartbreakingly real feeling story about just how coldly the world can be to someone who has survived traumatic events. While its willingness to focus on this coldness makes the film hard to watch, it is a struggle that I cannot help but feel like I owed Ani, and so many others, to experience.

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