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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

The Luckiest Girl Alive - A Not-So-Lucky Adaptation

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

Released 9-30-2022

Watched 04-22-2023

Reviewed 04-24-2023

Watched on Netflix

"You’re a survivor of the deadliest private-school shooting in history. And the reason it continues to captivate public interest is because there are still so many questions that you’ve never answered. People want to know were you a hero, or an accomplice?"

"The Luckiest Girl Alive," directed by Mike Barker and based on the bestselling novel by Jessica Knoll, tells the story of Ani FaNelli (Mila Kunis), a young woman with a seemingly perfect life who must confront the dark secrets of her past in order to move forward. While the film is visually captivating and well-acted, the subject matter and the way it is handled are off-putting, leaving the viewer wondering about their emotions.

Mila Kunis delivers a solid performance as Ani, effectively capturing the character's tenacity, ambition, and vulnerability. Without giving up any spoilers here, more than halfway through the movie, I didn't know how I felt about the main character. How was I supposed to feel about her? The supporting cast, including Finn Wittrock as Ani's fiancé, Luke, and Connie Britton as her mother, Grace, also contribute to the film's emotional depth.

Visually, the film showcases its opulent settings with elegant cinematography, creating a stark contrast between Ani's present-day life and the traumatic events of her past. The editing, particularly during the flashback sequences, helps to maintain a steady pace and build tension. However, the film's reliance on these techniques occasionally leads to a disjointed narrative, making it difficult for the audience to fully immerse themselves in Ani's emotional journey.

The adaptation's main issue lies in its inability to fully explore the novel's complex themes of identity, trauma, and societal pressure. The film opts for a more streamlined and simplified approach to the story, which ultimately weakens its emotional impact. Fans of the book may find themselves disappointed by the film's lack of depth and rushed resolution.

In conclusion, "The Luckiest Girl Alive" boasts strong performances and visually impressive production, but its shortcomings in adapting the source material prevent it from being a truly memorable thriller. While it may satisfy casual viewers looking for an engaging and stylish film, those seeking a more thought-provoking experience are better off diving into the novel instead.

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