‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ speaks on social issues

Mila Kunis’ newest movie, “Luckiest Girl Alive,” premiered on Netflix last month with an intriguing plot point and powerful takes on different social issues. 

The film follows Ani FaNelli, portrayed by Kunis, who reluctantly agrees to be interviewed for a documentary about a school shooting she was a survivor of. As she relives this trauma, the movie takes us through flashbacks of her time in high school and the events leading up to the shooting. In these flashbacks, we see a young Ani, portrayed by Chiara Aurelia, experience bullying, body image issues and sexual assault, until we inevitably see the graphic shooting scene itself. 

The audience follows Ani, a New York City journalist who has spent the years of her life since high school reinventing herself and attempting to separate herself from her old name, TifAni. Ani’s reinvention is a success until someone from her high school, Dean, portrayed by Alex Barone, claims that Ani was an accomplice in the shooting. 

Through a web of flashbacks and scenes set in the present day, the movie keeps audiences engaged and intrigued by needing to know the truth about what happened on that fateful day. With Ani’s narrations throughout the film, the audience is given details directly through her eyes rather than unbiased information

The movie did have a slow start, with a setup for what proved to be a boring first 20 minutes. Luckily, the film picked up after that, providing an opportunity for it to finally pull viewers in. This fast-paced approach the film ended up taking made it incredibly enjoyable to watch. It was near impossible to pull away from the screen. 

It is also important to note how difficult some scenes are to watch, particularly those relating to the school shooting, as well as sexual assault… Kunis’ and Aurelia’s performances elevated these scenes, making them that much more real. 

Kunis gave a beautiful performance. She has such a strong voice and personality that shines through in her characters, especially this one. Ani’s character is so independent and strong that Kunis was a perfect casting choice for her. 

As for Aurelia, she delivered the strongest performance in the movie. It was powerful and one to remember, which can be rare to see for new actresses. She is sure to blow audiences away with such a believable and honest act. 

It’s no doubt that issues like school shootings and sexual assault are prevalent in today’s society. When films include such themes it can be difficult to tackle in a delicate way. This movie did a decent job at that. It brought light to how long-lasting trauma and PTSD are, and also how common sexual assault is.

Despite its slow start and difficult themes, the movie is most definitely worth the watch. To have a movie that speaks about so many important issues honestly and respectfully is very refreshing. It has the opportunity to show audiences how real and scary these experiences are. Not only was the social commentary incredible, the dramatic twists and thrilling scenes were a great way to keep audiences engaged while discussing hard topics. 

“Luckiest Girl Alive” is now streaming on Netflix.
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