‘Luckiest Girl Alive’: A film about empowering women  

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Trigger warning: Rape  

“Luckiest Girl Alive,” a thrilling and truly eye-opening film based on the novel by Jessica Knoll, was released on Netflix earlier this month. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire movie as I watched through the life of TifAni (Ani) Fanelli and her journey toward overcoming adversity.  

Ani – played by Mila Kunis – is a low-income and financial aid student at a private school, where she encounters a number of different people, some who are her friends and others who make her life a living nightmare. However, the movie does not start off portraying her childhood, but rather in the present: shopping for knives with her fiancé.  

Knives seemed to be a big aspect of the movie. Audiences would get occasional glimpses of an “alternate dimension,” where Ani would stab her fiancé with a knife or blood would be dripping from the blade. Scenes like that would confuse me about the backstory of Ani’s life. Perhaps incorporating longer flashbacks throughout the film, rather than five second ones, would have made the story easier to understand. 

However, I will say that the movie is quite touching and meaningful, as Ani’s painful history becomes clear when we witness her teenaged-self get gang-raped. The trauma causes setbacks for her mental and emotional health, but one moment during a field trip to New York City changes her mind-set on life, giving her a hopeful prospect to look forward to.  

Ani essentially lives under a facade, as no one knows the deepest and darkest secrets of her past. She convinces herself that she lives a perfect life. This film truly goes to show that anyone is capable of hiding a traumatic or tragic history, one that can bother and torture them, regardless of how big or small it may be. For Ani, her trauma haunts her for the majority of her life, but she pushes through and eventually steps up to empower other women who share similar experiences. 

Mila Kunis gives an excellent performance, encompassing so many different emotions in one film, from true joy to pain and to freedom. Chiara Aurelia, who plays teenage Ani, also puts together an amazing performance that captures a touching display of raw emotion. “Luckiest Girl Alive” is an incredibly moving film, impacting audience’s perceptions of how one’s past can go on to affect their future and– most importantly– how empowering it is to overcome that past. 

Rating: 4/5 
Featured image courtesy of netflix.com

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